‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’ Is Done: Activision Folds Neversoft Into Infinity Ward

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater will no longer see any more games, thanks to a recent action by Activision. The publisher behind Call of Duty: Ghosts reportedly put the team behind Neversoft alongside the COD developer and noticed that they work well together, and so the people who brought us arcade-style skateboarding are now part of the three-year cycle responsible for new titles in the bestselling first person shooter series.

The Tony Hawk titles were a phenomenon when they were newer, bringing excitement and new blood into a sport that was notorious for getting kids injured and in trouble with the local law. The risk was part of the fun, and the notorious video games reflected that by attempting to represent the “outlaw” culture behind the sport. The controls were simple, yet endlessly inventive as the years went by. Not even a decade later, virtual skaters were pulling off superhuman feats in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, using angled curbs to jump on top of buildings and such.

Tony Hawk’s signature game series was a big part of what made the original Xbox such a great deal, but when the Xbox 360 came along, we craved more sophistication. More special moves were jammed into the game as it quickly became overloaded with options, and gamers started to lose interest. This was when Electronic Arts stepped in and introduced a more realistic take on the sport, using the analog sticks in ways that actually mirrored movements used in skateboarding.

As Skate was born, we moved on past the arcade-style gameplay and decided it was more fun to go back to the basics. The re-release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in an HD title was practically the final nail in the coffin, taking one of those moves we needed to finish the game (the Wallride) and making it way too tricky to pull off. Skate also quickly wore off, as the physics were tiresome for all but the most dedicated skateboarding fans.

The folding of Neversoft into Infinity Ward will also see an end to the Guitar Hero series, one of many games made to appeal to music loving gamers. Just like virtual skateboarding, the virtual guitar series lost its charm over time.

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg left this memo for employees under Neversoft:

“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts. And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single ‘super-studio’ could emerge. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things – which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence – all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.”

It looks like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD won’t get fixed after all. What do you think of the “death” of Neversoft?