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VGA 2009: Tony Hawk talks disappointing sales and future plans

Kevin Kelly

This past Saturday brought us the Spike TV Video Game Awards and – before experiencing the litany of world exclusives that awaited us inside – we spent some time outside cruising the red carpet and talking (briefly!) to many of the game developers and talent. We squeezed them for information as fast as we could while simultaneously wishing them holiday cheer and good tidings. Yes, it was as awkward as it sounds. Here's what we learned from Tony Hawk about Tony Hawk Ride.

You've been very vocal about the negative reviews of the game. What made you want to strike back?

Because I feel like a lot of people ... not just bad reviews, but some of them were just mean-spirited. You know what I mean? I felt like that wasn't fair to us, and it was also turning people away from even trying it. I feel like it's not for everyone, but try it! I see kids love it. I see parents that take to it and really enjoy it, and I just wanted a fair chance for people to try it objectively. When I see people just coming down on me personally, that got me going and I was frustrated with it.

But at the same time, I'm totally proud of it, I love the game. I spent two years of my life getting it going, and it was my idea ... I brought it to Activision. For people to say "Oh, you just stick your name on the game and that's it," that's not what it is at all.

The sales figures came out and they were disappointing. Do you think Activision will keep going in the same direction with this game or will go back to the old Tony Hawk?

I don't know, I guess that remains to be discussed. I really feel like the board is a good device, and we can make more games based on it. I really want to do that. This wasn't a gimmick, I didn't want people to think they have to buy a new one next year. I wanted to make this board so ... it's a platform to do other things with.

Does the game have the ability to be mapped to a standard controller? Could Activision implement that via a download?

You know what, we looked into it ... the way that you physically play the game, it wouldn't translate to a very challenging game with a joystick. The control scheme would have to be completely different, and we didn't want to make a game that was confusing like that.

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