Everyone cringed a tiny bit when they found out that Tony Hawk: Shred, the latest game in the series to use the skateboard peripheral, sold only 3,000 units in October. Activision aren’t ready to give up on the franchise and the star himself yet though, insisting that he has “Michael Jordan-ish staying power” and that sales will pick up.
Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg told Industry Gamers: “I think it’s early to close the book on Tony Hawk Shred, because we are marketing it to kids, and it is a great gift, and the gift-giving season has already begun. We’re going to keep the pedal to the metal on that and continue to market through the holiday and hopefully we’ll deliver some proponents.”
Hirshberg was ready to admit that series has definitely stumbled in recent years though: “The interesting thing is that I think the last game had some technical problems with the board, and lots of times when you innovate that happens. This game and the relationship between the game and the board is spectacular. It’s a whole different level from Tony Hawk: Ride. That might change things too. But at the same time, I think that you’re basically asking the same questions that I’m asking and that we’re asking about how to recapture the mass imagination surrounding this franchise.”
Clearly they’re not ready to give up on the franchise yet. “The one question that I can answer, and remarkably so, is that Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people. He is a lasting icon. He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power, seemingly. And that doesn’t mean that other great skaters haven’t come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category, so that’s not the issue. I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture people’s imaginations,” Hirshberg concluded.
There’s undoubtedly a new Hawk game set for release next year, how could it possibly changes things up after this many entries?