I loved the original three Skate games. For my money, even though Skater XL and Session are great skate games in their own right, neither managed to fully capture the magic that Skate had. And although Skate 3 fell short of innovating on the formula like Skate 2 from Skate, instead leaning harder into the online component, it was still a worthy entry in the series by and large.

And then things went silent on the Skate horizon; Black Box was pretty much dissolved and roughly 12 years would pass with no word on a follow-up. And that is pretty much why Skater XL and Session even exist, to fill the void left by the “THPS Killer,” the wildly innovative and extremely popular (within its niche) Skate series.

That changed when EA made a surprise announcement that it had finally come to its senses and would be dusting off the old grip tape to finally give fans what we’ve all been clambering for the last decade plus, a new entry in the Skate series. And boy howdy, did the fans rejoice. I personally even dug my old skateboard that I never learned how to ride out of the basement just so I could not learn to ride it some more while waiting for whenever the hell Skate 4 would finally release. An although there is still no release date or even release window to speak of, we have learned a bit more about the game via developer Full Circle’s The Board Room video.

And, what I’m seeing is kind of not good, or at least it has the chance of being not good but could maybe still be okay, maybe?

First off, this new game will be called skate. instead of Skate 4, because this is apparently not a sequel to Skate 3 but instead will take the franchise in a whole new direction. skate. will also not be a reboot or remake of Skate, hence the period and lowercase S… Because that’s not at all confusing. skate. will also take place in San Vansterdam instead of San Vanelona, the setting of Skate and Skate 2, or the lesser setting of Port Carverton from Skate 3.

But perhaps the biggest difference for skate. is that it will be free-to-play on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC with cross-play and cross-progression support. So you can play with your friends on Xbox using your PS5 or PC, and if you play it on multiple platforms your progress should carry over between them. While cross-play is a great addition — and something I wish more games would offer — the free-to-play format leaves much to be desired.


Full Circle says the intention isn’t to be predatory with the microtransactions, with no level- or map-gating or pay-to-win functionality. But if I have to buy new clothes or decks piecemeal, instead of being able to unlock them via progression, that would be heinous. And, I might add, kind of predatory…

Also, if skate. is as an online-only multiplayer game (this hasn’t been stated officially, at least not that I’ve been able to find, but it appears to be the possible direction the game is heading in), that would be less than tubular. I personally enjoyed the story progression of the first two Skate games, and I absolutely loved the Reda character (played by Giovanni Reda) and the quirky live-action intros the series was known for, which had a who’s-who list of skaters playing the various whacky characters.

It’s still very early yet to completely write skate. off, and I am hoping my sense of impending doom and gloom are just faulty spider-sense reactions to hearing about microtransactions and free-to-play and games-as-a-service models incorporated into a game that was predominantly a single-player experience that focused on skating more so than cosmetics. I want skate. to be great, but even if it’s just good that will still be a victory.

So I guess we’ll just have to wait and watch how skate. progresses during this development stage and what shape the final product will take before passing any final judgement.

If you are interested in signing up for access to play early builds to help Full Circle in fine tuning Skate. through EA’s Insider Registration program, you can do that here. It sounds like a ton of people already have (myself included), so the likelihood of getting access might be a shot in the dark, but it’s free, so why not?

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