Tony Hawk says that were a new game in his Pro Skater line to come out today, he would welcome the opportunity to explore its esports potential. Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards (via Front Office Sports), the skater acknowledges that recent changes in the industry might have produced very different games.
A total of 19 Tony Hawk games have been produced, with the most recent, ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’, launching on mobile just a few months ago. However, the series’ greatest success (within the minds of the PCGN team, at least) came out in the very different gaming environment of the early 2000s.
Hawk says that “if we would have first come out on consoles within the last five years or so, the online element would be much, much bigger and would have probably given it more longevity.” Quite how that all would have come together in an interesting thought experiment, but does reckon that an official Pro Skater esports league “would be great,” and even goes on to say that “there’s still hope” for it somewhere down the line.
As much as I’ve enjoyed Tony Hawk games over the years, I’m not sure they would have competed with the likes of Overwatch and League of Legends. The games might be popular, but as some fans have pointed out, popularity and an exploitable points system don’t necessarily make for competitive depth.
That said, the recent mobile game does come with a competition mode, and has an online element, meaning that someone, somewhere, is likely considering the concept.