At around this time last year, an indie skateboarding game called Session became, through no fault of its own, the biggest letdown of Microsoft’s E3 press conference.
In 2018, hope and enthusiasm for an imagined Skate 4 ran amok, an idea that was briefly fuelled by the presence of a skateboard at the Microsoft show. All that hype was swiftly deflated when we learned that Skate 4 was not in fact real, and that Microsoft had acquired the previously-Kickstarted Session as a console launch exclusive.
Pitched as a skate sim that prized authenticity above all, Session looked a bit rawer than previous skateboarding games. Players wouldn’t be scored, nor would their characters improve via anything other than actual practice.
Session, according to the pitch, didn’t just want to emulate skateboarding, but skate culture, right down to the ability to shoot and edit tapes of your best tricks.
After a brief E3 trailer pitching developer Creature Studios’ naturalistic, hip-hop-fuelled take on a skating simulation, Session fell off the radar, with no other trailers or public looks at gameplay footage. For anyone who keeps track of promises made at E3, it’s natural to wonder if we’ll see it again this year.
Here’s the verdict: The developers have said that they’re going to sit this one out in order to get Session released on Early Access and Xbox Games Preview soon.
That’s the latest word on Session, delivered via a Kickstarter update on May 23 that doubles as an apology for nearly a year of radio silence after a fairly regular series of updates. Scroll through Session’s update history, and you’ll see a solid 42 posts — most exclusive to backers — stretching back to the project launch date in November 2017.
In October 2018, Creature followed up on Session’s E3 appearance with its first public update, stating it had signed a three-month console exclusivity agreement that wouldn’t preclude the game also launching in Early Access on PC, along with a host of improvements to the game’s animation and physics.
The next time Creature would give a substantial, public update would be in a February 2019 post summarising news from a backer stream in December. They announced the departure of partner Sebastien Primeau, who had joined the studio in May 2018.
And that, barring a pair of backer-only mini-updates in March, was the last time the studio would publicly share any info on the state of Session.
“We would love to have a talk with you guys,” creative director and studio co-founder Marc-Andre Houde wrote when Kotaku reached out to learn more, “but it is just a little bit too early for us.”
Creature isn’t saying exactly how soon it’ll before they’ll have more to share, merely “after E3”. Until it does, Session remains in a state of limbo that’s all too common among crowdfunded projects.