For 12 years, skateboarding fans have been waiting patiently for the next installment of EA’s popular video game, Skate, to release. And while some lucky gamers have already been invited to test the upcoming skateboarding game by Full Circle, others have been left in the dark, waiting for more details to emerge. Yesterday, we got a taste of what’s to come as Full Circle hosted a Skate preview event on their YouTube breaking down some of the new features that gamers can expect this time around.
Here is everything we learned from yesterday’s first official “The Board Room.”
Skate Will Be Free To Play And Cross Platform
There were plenty of takeaways from the event, but one of the biggest things we learned is that this new iteration of Skate will not be titled Skate 4 — as so many of us had long anticipated. Instead, Full Circle’s new skateboarding simulation will simply be called skate.
Skate., as creative director Cuz Parry put it, is not a recreation or remastered version of Skate, 1, 2, or 3. Instead, it’s an entirely different game built to withstand the evolution of time. “Our dream is for skate. to never end,” he said while continuing to add that they don’t expect there to be a half dozen sequels in the future. Instead, skate. will be consistently improving with new objectives, features, and places to skate added all the time. And the main hope is for this to be an “authentic evolution” of the iconic franchise. One that gamers will be able to play cross-platform with their friends — cross-progression will also carry over. Full Circle is even working on a mobile game in development.
Why was this so important to the development team — which features many of the game’s original creators? Because, after all, it’s the community that makes skateboarding — and skate. — so much fun.
A Whole New World, CollaboZones, And Community Feedback
This game will focus on one enormous fictional city called San Vansterdam, which Full Circle refers to as the sister city to San Vanelona. Unfortunately, not a lot was available to see in yesterday’s board meeting. Still, after listening to the developers talk, it sounds like this will be an ever-evolving open world that allows gamers to discover new things early and often. They want skate. to be more than just a single-player journey that ends after you beat the game.
“Our dream is for skate. to never end.”
One way to accomplish this is with one of the most fantastic new additions to the game: CollaboZones.
CollaboZones are new to skate. and have been one of the most popular areas for those fortunate enough to test the game. These CollaboZones are areas on the map that the developers defined as “wild cooperative building areas where players can allow their imagination to run wild.” These are constantly changing, but one example we were shown was gamers collaborating to create a mega-ramp from the top of one rooftop to the next. Another showed skaters bailing from that same rooftop, trying to get their lifeless bodies through giant rings in the sky. Jumping has also been added to the game and may help players reach places they only dreamed of in the past.
Speaking of community, fans of Skate will have the chance to help shape the new game with special testing events and other opportunities. This is important because it gives developers a chance to hear from the community, allowing them to help shape the game. The feedback has also brought confidence to the developers. All of this sounds great, but not everything was sunshine and roses from Full Circle’s The Board Room meeting.
The minute I heard skate. would be free-to-play, I started to get an uneasy feeling in my stomach. And that was even after the developers tried to ease fans’ minds by revealing that gamers would not need to pay to beat the game or anything like that. Players won’t have to pay money to unlock new areas or gameplay features. Full Circle also stated there would be no loot boxes. Instead, most of these add-ons would be cosmetic, or so it sounds. Players will likely pay extra for unique boards, clothing, characters, etc. This all sounds fine and dandy, but it’s still a little bit of a concern when we’ve seen in the past how pricey free-to-play games can quickly become.
On top of that, EA does not have the best track record with free-to-play games, and we hope this does not mean skate. is not quite finished when it releases. While Apex Legends is a great game, the microtransactions in it can get a bit nutty. However, if skate. gets the support that something like Apex Legends does, then it probably is a solid outcome in the end.
With the community’s help, Full Circle’s new skateboarding game is starting to take shape. The gameplay looks good, and the new additions to the game like CollaboZones and the emphasis on cross-play should have most folks excited. But while my excitement has been building and building for the last decade, hearing the word microtransactions was like snapping a brand new skateboard trying to kickflip off a ledge. I’m still excited and hopelessly optimistic, but I’ll need to see proof that this won’t end up like so many other free-to-play games before crowning skate. as the next great skateboarding video game.