Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Will Be An Epic Games Exclusive

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is finally being remastered. But if you’re looking to play the game on PC, you’ll have to pick up the game through the Epic Store, as per Activision’s release this morning.

The exclusivity is interesting, primarily because the game is being wholly developed within Activision (Vicarious Visions, the actual developer of the port, was bought out by Activision in 2005). Thanks to Blizzard’s library of games, Activision already has its own digital marketplace with the client. But Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater won’t be sold through there: all pre-order links on the THPS website go straight to the Epic Games Store listing, and the official Australian release only lists the Epic Store.

Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.
Lead Developer: Vicarious Visions
Platforms: PlayStation® 4, PlayStation® 4 Pro, the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X, and on PC through the Epic platform.
Release Date: 4 September, 2020
MSRP: $69.95 AUD (base game)
$84.95 AUD (digital deluxe edition). Includes unique retro content and gear.
$169.95 AUD (Collector’s edition). Includes a limited-run Birdhouse deck.

There’s no mention of the Tony Hawk remaster on the page at all, nor in the page’s source code, and the third party tracker hasn’t detected any Tony Hawk additions to Valve’s platform over the last week.

It’s an interesting move on Activision’s part, even if you consider the better revenue share they’re receiving over releasing THPS 1 + 2 on something like, say, Steam. The Epic Store exclusivity has caused a ton of controversy in the last year, but it hasn’t hurt the financial success of the games one iota.

Metro Exodus sold two and a half times more over its launch window compared to Metro: Last Light, even though Epic’s store was only months old at that point compared to the almost two decades of maturity for Steam. World War Z sold 320,000 copies through the Epic store in its first week of launch, around a third of the million-plus sales it sold across all platforms. Epic’s exclusivity for Borderlands 3 didn’t hurt either, with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford saying that the “launch day peak concurrent players” for BL3 was twice as high as the all-time peak for Borderlands 2 on PC:

From a publisher’s perspective, it’s pretty clear that Epic has a more attractive offer than most are led to believe. The 88/12 revenue share obviously isn’t as lucrative as the ability for Activision to publish through, but the calculus is clearly that THPS will perform well regardless. It’s one of those few games that draws people in, no matter where it’s published. Just take a look at the level of interest in the trailer compared to other games on the PlayStation YouTube channel:

And the contrast is even more stark on the official Xbox YouTube channel, where THPS has more than 10 times the views of any game in the last week, and only 100k fewer views than the Xbox Series X “first look game footage” trailer from last week.

People are keen for Tony Hawk, wherever he appears. Even if they don’t know its him at first.

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