Activision May Have Left Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 to Die Because its License Expires in 2015

You may have heard reports today that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 isn’t very good. After being released stealthily by publishers Activision with little promotion and no review copies being sent to media outlets, it seems that the company was well aware of this and therefore left it to die a miserable death.

Those who have played the game have noted that it’s a buggy, ugly mess, with videos surfacing online highlighting its myriad of problems, such as the one below from Eurogamer:

However, a twist in the tale has been revealed, as now news is circulating that the contract between Activision and Tony Hawk to produce the Tony Hawk video games is expiring this year, meaning that the game was likely just a last-minute cash grab before the company lost its rights to develop new entries in the series.

This was pointed out by Reddit user Jay_Nullbuilt, via Twitter user and indie game developer Dan Teasdale, who linked to a press release posted by Activision in 2002that confirmed they had sealed rights to the license until 2015.

The press release reads: “Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that the company has extended its successful partnership with world-renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk through an exclusive multi-year video game licensing agreement that expires in 2015.”

So it seems that Activision has attempted to squeeze the last few coins it can out of the Tony Hawk series by releasing a half-baked, low-budget game and selling it as a full retail release, sullying the name of the entire franchise in the process and ensuring that future publishers will be skeptical about acquiring it and release a Tony Hawk game that does justice to the PlayStation originals.

While developers Robomondo and Disruptive Games likely put a lot of effort into trying to bring the Pro Skater series back from the dead, the game doesn’t deserve to be bought by anybody (especially at its $60 asking price), and there’s a large part of us that hopes it fails to turn a profit for Activision in order to show the company that consumers aren’t as gullible as they think.