Skate or Die: Neversoft and THPS Part Ways

Neversoft co-founder and president, Joel Jewett, confirmed that his company is breaking ties with the Tony Hawk franchise, a relationship that spanned nine iterations and over nearly ten years worth of collaboration.

Speaking with the Great Falls Tribune, Jewett said, “It’s probably best for the franchise, it’s time for someone to add fresh ideas to it.”

The Hawk franchise helped sky rocket Neversoft to fame when it debuted in 1999 with “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater,” a game that achieved critical acclaim, and brought in large sales; both of which helped in creating 8 eventual sequels.

While various sequels would continue to generate rave reviews and captivate gamers with its’ addictive, combo-driven gameplay, and off-the-wall humor, the franchises latest entries have seemed stale and devoid of much innovation.  Slumping sales, and a new competitor in the form of EA’s “Skate,” which sees its’ sequel releasing in two weeks, were likely instrumental factors towards Neversoft’s decision.

While nothing has been officially announced in the from of a sequel, various internet leaks and slip-ups by Mr. Hawk himself all point toward the series making drastic, innovative steps toward rebooting the franchise.  Activision has confirmed that “Tony Hawk Adrenaline” - the rumored title - will have players virtually pulling tricks without the use of their hands. Hawk has also stated that the game will introduce accelerometer technology to the franchise.

All is not lost for Neversoft however, as Jewett would also go on to reiterate Neversoft’s commitment toward the “Guitar Hero” franchise, a franchise that has generated massive amounts of income; recently it was announced that 2007’s “Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock” has broken the $1 billion mark for overall sales. Quite the accomplishment for Neversoft considering that “Rock Band” developers, Harmonix, originally created the “Guitar Hero” series back in 2005.

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