Fresh Skate Trailer Shows A Game That Is Slowly But Surely Coming Together

Fresh Skate Trailer Shows A Game That Is Slowly But Surely Coming Together

Skate, the long-awaited next entry in EA’s cult-hit series of skateboarding games, has gotten another in-development trailer. The footage comes from the game’s February Insider playtest.

Based on where we were in the last trailer, it looks like more of the game’s art and assets are taking shape. Though still labelled as pre-pre-Alpha footage, character animations and physics are coming together, and more of the geometry in-world has been textured (though most will go through further iterations as the game is polished and shined before launch). They’ve even started dropping in character cosmetics and emotes. The skating still looks solid, and the bails look more painful than ever (prays for the guy that takes a wince-inducing nut shot and then plummets several stories to his death at the end). There’s even one player that charges into a huge jump before leaping off their board mid-air, catching the ledge of a building and mantling up onto it.

GTA ‘wasted’ sound effect plays. Screenshot: EA, Kotaku Australia

So, yeah, mantling’s in. That’s interesting. The trick runners are already imagining the possibilities.

Skate has spent the last year or so drip-feeding fans similarly early development footage and player tests in lieu of a more traditional marketing campaign.

The trailers have been rather bald compared to the slickly produced, heavily curated marketing most AAA games get when the sales machine roars to life. To date, Skate‘s trailers have been full of placeholder assets, jank, and work-in-progress systems. And it’s worked — the fans have been lapping it up because, after years of not knowing whether the series would continue, seeing it coming back to life piece by piece has been a balm.

It is still marketing, of course. I just think it’s very good marketing, in addition to being a rare look behind the curtain at a production underway at a major publisher. The games industry, which sells complicated toys, operates with unearned Cold War-level cloak-and-dagger secrecy, which is preposterous and stupid, and everyone knows it. To see a publisher happy to show off an in-production title well before the public would normally get eyes on it is refreshing.

A large part of EA’s strategy around Skate came from the ceaseless interest in the game. Releasing in-development footage to the public keeps eager leakers and hackers at bay. Hackers can’t leak unfinished, in-development footage if you release it as an official trailer, after all.

Skate still has no release date, and, based on the footage from the latest playtest, looks like it still has a long road to travel. Still, between no updates at all and some unfinished assets? I’ll take the unfinished assets every time.

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