Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series was almost never made, as Tony Hawk has revealed he nearly went with another studio to make a more “technically difficult” game.
Since its first game was released in 1999, the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series has made over £1.1billion in sales, while Hawk himself said the games “changed my life completely”.
However, Activision nearly missed out on creating its now-iconic series.
Speaking on The Diary Of A CEO podcast (via PC Gamer), Hawk revealed that prior to signing up for the Pro Skater series with Activision, another studio had got in touch to invite Hawk on board for one of its games.
“I went down the road with them a little bit and realised that what they were trying to do was so much more…technically difficult to play because they were trying to truly emulate skating,” shared Hawk.
“I felt like I understood that approach, but at the same time skating wasn’t that big when we were going to release this game. I wanted something that would be more friendly to the non-skater to play [and] understand — to be able to just pick up and start doing tricks.”
Hawk said that after seeing a “very early version” of a skating demo from Activision, he knew that the studio’s more casual approach was better suited for him.
“When I saw what Activision had, they had a very early version of a skater doing tricks. The way it moved…to me it was intuitive, it was perfect. Right away I started playing it, started doing tricks — it was almost like it was an extension of my body to start doing this.”
Hawk said the version of Pro Skater we know almost never happened, stating “if Activision maybe had called me a month or two later, I might have already inked a deal [with the first company”.
Hawk also shared that closer to the launch of Pro Skater, Activision had sensed that it had a “good game” and offered to buy out Hawk’s royalties for half a million dollars. Hawk, who said that he would have accepted the offer if it was made several months earlier while he was buying a house, turned it down — and described the choice as “the best financial decision of my life”.
Last year, we spoke to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater cover band The 900 about a London gig that saw Hawk turn up to provide vocals for them.