For years, fans have been clamouring so hard for a fourth entry in the Skate franchise, it’s become a bit of a running joke.
Well, now it seems EA have beaten us to the punchline, as they announced that Skate 4 is indeed in the works.
As part of the EA Play live stream - which saw announcements big new video games, and updates on games already in the works – EA quickly teased that the fourth game in the series is in development.
Game director Deran Chung and creative director Cuz Parry were on hand to quickly gush about how excited they are to be making the game.
They really didn’t say anything more than that.
Here’s everything we know anyway:
When can I play Skate 4?
Simply put, we don’t know.
During the game’s ‘reveal’ – which amounted to two developers getting excited on Zoom for a minute – viewers were repeatedly told “it’s the beginning”, and “it is really early.”
So it sounds like the game is only just entering its pre-production phase. It could be another two years until we’re finally able to play it, and that’s just a conservative guesstimate.
“We’ve got a long way to go… and this is just the beginning.”
Are you getting the idea yet?
Why are fans so excited?
It’s been 10 years since Skate 3, and fans have been desperate to get their hands on a new instalment of the franchise.
The original game launched back in 2007, at a time when skateboarding games were beginning to grow stale.
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series – once a firm fan favourite – was losing momentum after one too many annual cash-ins and gimmicky reimaginings; sales and critical approval of new games were beginning to fall.
Then along came Skate, replacing the arcade-style, high-score combos of the Tony Hawk games with a more grounded, more realistic depiction of skating.
Instead of hammering buttons to perform infinite grinds, players used their controller’s analogue sticks to mimic the position of the skater’s feet on the board; a more intuitive control scheme that felt much more natural.
Sure, you couldn’t pull off crazy tricks and stunts like you could with Tony Hawk, but nailing a 360 Nightmare flip down a set of stairs on your 900th try was arguably much more satisfying.
What will Skate 4 be like?
Since all we have to go on is two dads in snapbacks getting excited on a conference call, it’s hard to say anything on just what Skate 4 will be like.
Skate 3 enjoyed a resurgence in popularity a few years after its release thanks to YouTubers who rediscovered its comical ‘Hall of Meat’ mode, which tasked players with performing the gnarliest bails in exchange for big points.
Purists complained that the series was beginning to shy away from its grounded realism in favour of sillier hi-jinks (that game remains the series worst reviewed).
So it will be a challenge for the developers to balance that more nuanced version of skating, with the bone-crunching hilarity which made the third game so popular.
The new game has also been announced just as skateboarding games seem to be coming back in fashion.
Session – a spiritual successor to the Skate series which takes things even further in the realism department, presented through a grainy, fish-eye lens filters – released this week, and Skater XL will be available in July 2020.
Could it be that Skate will now need to find something that sets it apart from its competitors?