Tony Hawk is back with a new video game, and it’s his first done without the involvement of longtime partner Activision.
Built from the ground up for mobile devices, Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam is a free-to-play skating game that drops you into a skate park to try your hand at some of the sport’s most famous tricks. Hawk himself had a major role in designing the game, working with publisher Maple Media to ensure that it has the iconic tricks and style we’ve come to associate with skating since it exploded in popularity during the late 20th century.
Digital Trends had the chance to interview Hawk to ask him about the project and how it compares to his past video games, and the Birdman clearly sees games like Skate Jam as the future.
“I saw what [Maple Media] has developed, and the engine they were doing, and realized that with my expertise and my experience, we could make something that was more akin to the types of games that people know me for,” Hawk told us.
Hawk added that he thinks Maple Media has done well to make sure Skate Jam controls well on mobile devices, and that the younger generation of players — those who grew up playing on mobile — are still interested in skateboarding because of how low the barrier of entry is in 2018. Still, those who remember playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 growing up aren’t being forgotten.
“I definitely felt an obligation to those fans — to bring more of that gameplay to them,” Hawk said. “And I think that we have done that. If it’s going to have my name on it, I want people to have some familiarity with how they control it. I have that same rush when you land a big combo in the game that I used to [when actually skating,] so I know we’re on the right track.”
Hawk wants that classic nostalgia-fueled excitement to extend to the music in Skate Jam, as well. He helped to pick the songs included on the soundtrack, and hopes that players will actually want to listen to the music rather than play something else on their phone in the background. Classic skate punk and new wave songs will be included, as well as a wider variety of genres.
Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam is available now on iOS and Android. In addition to a free skate mode and a career mode, there is also an online multiplayer component which global tournaments. Despite the game’s release, Hawk is not done working on it.
“I’m in it,” he stressed when asked about post-launch support. “I’m in this process.”
Tony Hawk certainly means that, if his past perseverance is anything to go by. Back in 2016, when he was 48 years old, Hawk successfully landed a “900.” It was 17 years to the day since he has done it for the first time back in 1999.