Skate’s developers say going free to play is a ‘natural evolution of the franchise’
The game is in “pre-pre-pre-alpha.”Image: EAI’m almost positive this style won’t be in the final game, but I’d play a mode that looked like this.Image: EAThe new game does sound promising on its face — a free skateboarding game backed by a big developer!

The game is in “pre-pre-pre-alpha.” Image: EA

I’m almost positive this style won’t be in the final game, but I’d play a mode that looked like this. Image: EA

The new game does sound promising on its face — a free skateboarding game backed by a big developer! — but I’m having trouble getting excited for yet another big live-service title. I’m already a regular Fortnite player and have started to get into Final Fantasy XIV, meaning it’s hard for me to pack in any others. I’ve consciously chosen to let games like Destiny 2, Rocket League, and Fall Guys pass me by, and with more big free-to-play games on the way, finding the time to play them isn’t going to get any easier. I’m getting to the point where it’s a relief to pick up a game with a definite end.

I asked if a paid version of Skate was ever in the cards or if it was always imagined as a free-to-play game. “Honestly, it’s always kind of been that. Even from really early on,” Chung said. “If I could go back and make Skate 3 in 2015 or something, I don’t know if it would have been a boxed product. I think it just makes sense for the franchise in terms of what the community wants. I don’t know if having an iterative title makes a ton of sense. It feels like — it sounds trite to say — the natural evolution of the franchise and skating and games and all of those things coming together seems like the right thing for us to pursue.”

I’m optimistic about Full Circle’s approach with Skate. It seems like the studio is making an effort to incorporate what the community wants early on, and that will hopefully result in a better game that will be successful for the long term. (Though the team has already had to make a statement in response to a leaked build floating around.) And the free-to-play model helps differentiate the game from its competitors, including the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 remaster and indies like OlliOlli World and Skate City.

If you want a chance to give your own feedback on Skate ahead of the game’s eventual release, you can sign up for a chance to be a playtester.

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