Ahhh, 2016. What a bad year it's been. Beloved celebrities dropping like flies, unrest in the streets and a bright-orange, vagina-groping frog being voted the US president. Through all the trials and tribulations that this year has thrown at us, one thing stands head and shoulders above the rest in the bubbling anger: The continued lack of a new Skate game.
It might seem trivial, but we all know that a new #Skate would solve many of the world's problems — that is, if you're one of the many commenters bombarding #EA's Instagram profile. Post after post, picture after picture with increasingly hateful rhetoric for the distinct lack of a sequel to this skateboarding game.
And Who Could Blame Us?
When Skate crashed onto the scene into 2007, the world's obsession with Tony Hawk and anything he managed to force out had started to wane. #Project8 and Proving Ground leaked out like a post-Thanksgiving fart — loud and reeking of rancid turkey. As the potato-fueled hangover started to ease, Skate came along like a breath of fresh air.
With the innovative thumb-stick controls and fluid gameplay, Black Box had produced a tougher, more realistic skateboarding game. Gone were the monumental 1080 melon grabs over Alcatraz and the repetitive S-K-A-T-E challenges; instead, we had a game focused on an environment full of creative possibilities that gave you a sense of what it actually felt like to be a pro skater.
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So much so, #ProvingGround failed to match the hype and rave reviews of Skate's debut, with the title selling more than double what #TonyHawk's white elephant could manage, signaling the inevitable decline of the once beloved Hawk series. As the years went by, Black Box produced two more sequels to Skate, each more popular than its predecessor, selling a combined total of more than 7 million units.
Keep On Rollin', Baby
However, in the end, just as the prayers of the action sports fanboys seemed to have gone answered, things came crashing down — like me attempting to pull off a #kickflip. As development on Skate 3 got underway, publisher EA did as EA normally does and decided to lay off 10 percent of its staff, which led to the closing of Black Box's offices and its rebranding as Quicklime Games. Over the next two years, the layoffs continued and Quicklime shifted focus to such "classics" as MySims Racing, before being quietly shuttered in 2012.
For a refresher, check out the trailer below for 2010's Skate 3.
With the closure of Black Box, it appeared that Skate was dealt a death blow, off to the great half-pipe in the sky. The fans shrunk away to the comments section and it seemed that was that. Until 2014 when, love him or loath him, #PewDiePie entered the fray, releasing a series of Let's Plays for Skate 3. The goofy Swede's young fan base lapped up his fumbling through Port Caverton so much that they went out and snapped up all the copies they could find, leading ol' EA to reprint the four-year-old title.
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Heaven Is A Halfpipe
For the next six months, the veteran title managed to stay in the top 20 games worldwide, which threw a great big can of gas on the fire of those who still yearned for a new Skate. Year on year, sales have remained impressive for such an aged game, keeping it popular through Instagram campaigns and Trump parodies.
With grumpy old coot EA ignoring the plight of its diehard fans, its been left to rival company #Ubisoft to take up the mantle by releasing a spiritual successor of sorts in Steep, the hotly anticipated winter sports title set on a huge mountain full of possibilities. Whilst it lacks the grip tape, board and anything to do with skateboarding, the gameplay is strikingly similar and just as a addictive.
#Steep may not fill that void left by Skate, but it's a welcome return to the much-ignored action sports genre. Hopefully, with the clamoring of its maligned fans shifting their allegiance, EA could finally get the message and kick off the journey in fulfilling our wildest dreams by creating a new game in the Skate franchise.
Fill your boots with the below trailer for Steep, which is set for release on December 2. And tell me in the comments section what you most loved about Skate.
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