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Skate. - What We Know So Far

When extreme sports video games were still in their infancy, it was the "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" series that brought skateboarding to the forefront of the genre. But while "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" perfectly captured the minds and hearts of gamers, there was room on the market for a more immersive experience, which led to the 2007 release of "Skate."

Unlike its primary competitor, which ramped up the craziness and insanity with each successive installment, "Skate" focused on making a more realistic style of gameplay. Whereas the "Tony Hawk" games had become de facto action titles with skateboarding at their base, "Skate" was focused on the fundamentals of skateboarding, using an analog stick-focused control scheme to bring the vision to life. Hitting a kickflip down a stair set was no longer a formality, nor was executing a noseslide down a steep rail — nailing these tricks was the name of the game. And yes, "Skate" did of course have its funny idiosyncrasies. But at the end of the day, it was connection to reality that was front and center.

The formula worked and "Skate" became a success, spawning the sequels "Skate 2" and "Skate 3" in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Since then, however, the series has become dormant, leaving fans to ponder when they could expect a fourth "Skate" game. Much to their delight, the newest installment, "Skate.," has officially been announced by developer Full Circle. And here's everything we know about it so far.

Skate. will be free-to-play

"Skate." (emphasis on the period, apparently) was formally announced through IGN via a developer update video which featured creative director Cuz Parry, head of product management Isabelle Mocquard, Full Circle GM Dan McCulloch, Player Council member Brandon Thomas, and more. In the video, the crew breaks down what the development cycle of "Skate." has been like, as well as the overall direction where EA plans to take the franchise. And one of the most notable announcements made in the video is that "Skate." will be a free-to-play title.

"We wanted to remove as many barriers to entry as possible so that everyone can play together on day one," Mocquard said. Parry then chimed in, saying that many in the "Skate" community had told him that they hadn't played previous titles in the series due to the steep $60 cost of AAA video games. The team's hope is that making the new "Skate." free-to-play will allow more prospective customers to play the game immediately upon release.

In terms of release date, McCulloch was unable to commit to any window at this time, simply saying that "Skate." will be released "when it's ready."

Skate. will be cross-platform

Cross-platform gaming is slowly but surely becoming the new norm, thanks to big series like "Call of Duty" and "MLB: The Show" having already shown what's possible when everyone is able to play with each other, no matter the platform. "Skate." will be no different in this regard, as it was announced that the game will also be cross-platform.

"We really want folks to get the most value out of their playing experience as possible, and [for] people to play on their favorite platforms the way that they want to play," McCulloch said. "So 'Skate.' will be full cross-play and cross-progression across last-gen, next-gen, and PC." McCulloch also mentioned that Full Circle is working on a mobile port of the game, though he says that version of the game is in early development and will be released once the developer has a better grasp on the control scheme. Once a mobile port is completed, that platform will also be included in the cross-play family.

Will there be microtransactions in Skate.?

With "Skate." being a free-to-play title, the concerns over microtransactions and loot boxes obviously loom large, particularly with recent controversies with games such as "Diablo Immortal" and "Gran Turismo 7" still fresh in gamers' minds. In this regard, the development team behind "Skate." was forthcoming, saying flat-out that the game will indeed contain microtransactions. "We knew that to support a never-ending, ever-evolving, free-to-play world of 'Skate.', we'd have to look into different models for the game itself, which means that there will be microtransactions," McCulloch said. 

While acknowledging that it's a sensitive subject in the world of gaming right now, McCulloch ensured gamers that "Skate." would not be a pay-to-win title, nor would any parts of the map or gameplay elements be locked behind a paywall. There also won't be any loot boxes. 

"We are taking inspiration from games like 'Apex Legends' or other popular titles that are free to play where spending money is totally optional and is mostly about cosmetics and convenience," Mocquard said of the game's microtransaction system. "And with such [a] model, we will be able to keep the community united between the players who decide to spend and those who don't."