I’m beyond thrilled we’re about to enter a skateboarding renaissance. In a sense, it’s already started since Skater XL and Session have been cooking for months and months in early access, but with the Tony Hawk 1 and 2 Remaster on the horizon and Skate 4 now officially being made, there’s still plenty more to come. A big reason why I’m so stoked for this renaissance is we’re better equipped in 2020 to highlight the strengths of skateboarding as a sport and art form. And I think Milky’s Skater XL videos are the best example of what I’m talking about here.
I use Milky’s “Ride The Sky” video from back in April as my example here, but he has plenty more recent videos you can scope out as well if this hits the spot. It wasn’t impossible to cut something like this together in some of the older skateboarding games, but now in 2020 we really can create skate videos that many of us grew up watching years back. It still takes skill, patience and a solid videographer, but that’s the case with real skating as well. The point is we can now mimic the real sport in a way that’s feasible for a larger portion of the community.
There are plenty of other reasons why skateboarding games could flourish in 2020 and beyond. The saying “it takes a village” really comes into play here when discussing why I feel that way. We’ve already seen Skater XL developers grabbing some of the best fan-made content and putting it in their game for the “official” console release later this year. Beyond created maps and tracks, we have camera mods and “fake” magazines popping up.
Hell, even this Skater XL video by Milky is made possible in a sense by other fan-made mods like the ones from Babbo. It’s all intertwined, and it’s something skateboarding games should be inherently good at in this day and age.
And, yes, choice does matter here. I don’t think Skater XL or Session are going to break into the full-on mainstream, but they have strong communities already in place. They’ve been nurtured during early access, and being a little underground works in skating. Even if the games don’t sell millions and millions of copies, those hardcore people are going to keep the game alive and keep creating awesome videos and mods that maybe gives these games long legs.
Mixing that together with the heavy hitters like Tony Hawk and Skate means there should be something for everyone — even SkateBirds. In a perfect world, everyone succeeds. Maybe Skate 4 ends up doing the “best” sales-wise, but 2-3 years from now we’ll hopefully all be able to chat about which game we loved the most.
On some level, I am concerned that maybe we will get saturated with too many skateboarding games, but considering how bereft of diversity we’ve become in most major sports, I would much rather be worried about too many games coming out rather than just having one to look forward to. Let the renaissance begin.