We didn’t think it would happen. You didn’t think it would happen. Hell, Electronic Arts didn’t really think it would happen. But today, we’re here to announce that in fact, a new EA Skate game is coming after all. The caveat? We don’t know exactly when, or what it will even be called, but it’s definitely coming. For real this time. We promise.
We talked to Cuz Perry and Deran Chung, who were both a part of the original team that worked on Skate 3 and tried to squeeze as much info out of them as we could regarding the new title. They were a bit tight-lipped, but at the very least, you can read on and hear some good news from some people who are actually trustworthy on the matter.
It’s been 10 years since your last Skate game. What took you so long?
Well, as is kind of publicly known, the studio behind the game [Black Box] that we all worked at got dismantled. A bunch of people scattered to the wind when Black Box ceased to exist. But we kind of knew what the score was before the last game came out. We threw everything we possibly could into Skate 3.
We were working on downloadable content and it was just like, “We don’t know if we’re going to get another one. Throw in everything. Throw in green screen. Let them go nuts. Let’s see how creative people could get.” We didn’t know if there would ever be another one.
It took a little while for Skate 3 to really hit. It’s not like it sold crazy astronomical things, but it ended up becoming this cult favorite down the road. That’s when people started getting really excited about it.
In 2018, what was with the servers turning on again? Was that related to this announcement?
[Laughs] Okay, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to talk about this. It was a mistake. I asked an online software engineer who’s a good friend of mine what happened and he was like, “Oh, I think someone rebooted a computer by accident.” Literally that was it [laughs]. You would think it was purposeful, but it was happenstance.
When did development start and what was the push to get the band back together?
It started with the transition to Laura Miele, who is the Chief Studios Officer, once she got in, it was moving. She was like, “As soon as I got into this job I wanted to do something with this franchise.” So it was a perfect storm.
It was something we knew eventually would happen again, and there were people within the company that worked on it that are now on other teams, who I’d see them at the cafe or we’d cross paths, and we party every year. We have our own holiday called Skate Paddy’s Day, we’ve been doing it for 15 years. Any time we cross paths it’s always about those days, working on that game. It’s a high watermark for so many people, even if they didn’t skate. It’s always like, “When’s it happening? When’s it happening?”
It may have taken longer than the public wanted but a lot of things had to align at the company.
What year did she join?
She’s been at EA for like a dozen years, but she got into the Chief of Worldwide Studio’s role in 2018, I think. There was a glimmer. It’s like a movie getting made. You need a champion at the right place and the right time. We got lucky that there was a champion to make the first Skate the way we wanted to. She came in and it happened at the right time, with the right idea.
Skate 3 did well when it came out in 2010, but gained even more popularity in later years. Was that a result of the YouTubers?
I would say yes. In 2014 PewDiePie started playing it because he had seen something about it and his videos got crazy millions of views. I guess that was the start of it being like a “viral” thing.
What is the craziest thing that you’ve been offered to make a Skate 4?
Offers? I’ve never been offered anything.
No sexual favors to get a Skate 4 going?
No, dude! [laughs].
What about fans trying to call customer service to get intel about development?
There have been hundreds of thousands of comments on EA’s socials. Which I think is amazing. It’s like the funniest thing.
Did it help that people like Tyler the Creator tweeted asking for a new Skate and there’s been so much public demand from influential people?
[laughs] They don’t hurt, is what I would say. There might be a folder somewhere with these types of things saved.
“There have been hundreds of thousands of comments on EA’s socials.
Which I think is amazing.”
How much is going to be different in the controls or gameplay or is it more of an update?
It’s going to feel like a Skate game, is what I can say. It’s not going to be something different. If you know and love and play Skate it’s going to feel familiar. And then where it expands from there, that’ll be interesting.
Are you considering making more community aspects to the new game?
Yes, it’s going to be more representative of where the culture is in skateboarding now. We were pretty ahead of the curve back in the day with our social features. It’ll be an evolution of all those things.
Gaming has evolved and skating has evolved. The community will be huge and the community that was there before, they still exist and they’re still playing games. There are still a bunch of crews, they have virtual teams and make videos. It’s crazy that shit is still happening 10 years later.
Then there are guys who do their own thing and make like Rube Goldberg machines within the game. They didn’t do anything with skating, they just used it like Minecraft. It was so sick. We want to have fun with the community, and give them a platform and let them do their own thing. It’s like hey, you could just go steal that wood and build your own spot. Like a sandbox.
What’s the biggest challenge in making a new Skate game? And are you calling it Skate 4 for sure?
Getting full frontal nudity in there [laughs]. I’m joking! No, we haven’t confirmed what the title of the game is. That’s still up in the air. We don’t really know. We’re making the next version of Skate, whatever that is. Which sounds weird.
When this started ramping up, had you heard of other skate titles in the works? Skater XL, or Session? Do the current titles play into how you’re developing your own game?
I’m just stoked other people are making stuff. Skateboarding is so big and diverse, there’s room for everyone. We’re hyped. it’s flattering. What they’re saying is, “We saw Skate 3, what’s our version of making a skateboarding game for skaters?”
They are going much more down the sims path than where we went. I’m just like “Woah, they’re going big.” There are a million mobile skate games now too, which is amazing. Everyone has their own take.
So you’re not sending them threats to get out of the space?
Any skaters already involved you can mention or talk about?
Full disclosure we haven’t talked to anybody at all. Nobody knows it exists…well, except for a couple of skaters that did some mocap…so I guess they know we exist.
Is there a mobile Skate 3 or a mobile version or anything being developed too?
No Dill. There is not. [laughs]
Any more info about the game that you tell us that we might have skipped over?
It’s early, and we keep saying it’s early, but we have stuff to build off of. We want to make the right game. We need to take the right amount of time to do it. We’ll say it’s the people who brought you the first three games and care about it just as much as you do. We’re going to make the best decisions that we can possibly make to make the experience what we think it should be. We’re going to try to give it to you as soon as we possibly can. We don’t want to rush and blow it. We don’t want it to misrepresent what we built before and what skateboarding is now.
We’re stoked that they’ve been passionate for so long and they’re going to have to wait a little bit longer, but we want them to know that we’re a thing and that it is coming.