EA has confirmed that its reboot of the Skate franchise will be a free-to-play game, and it will also be named Skate, which is the same name as the first game in the series.
This news comes from a meaty developer update called “The Board Room” where the developers shared details about the game’s development. Full Circle Creative director Chris “Cuz” Parry explained that the name is meant to indicate that the team is “in it for the long haul.” “There won’t be a Skate 5 through 10,” he explained.
“We’re going to do this, we’re going to listen to [players] say over the course of time, and put the features you want into it.”
The game will also feature cross-platform play on day one, and the team is also targeting mobile platforms. Head of product management Isabelle Mocquard said that the team’s vision wasn’t to make a game that you could “play through and beat,” but a game where players could “regularly come back to and discover new things.”
How will EA monetize Skate?
The Full Circle team explained that it’s planning to take inspiration from Apex Legends’ monetization strategy to support Skate‘s development. That means most in-app purchases will be centered on in-game cosmetics, though that also might mean the inclusion of a season pass feature.
That said, Full Circle said that Apex Legends’ loot boxes wouldn’t be making the jump.
What does an always-online Skate mean for EA?
Before anything else, we should note that an always-online version of Skate is a huge technical accomplishment. The original games earned praise not just for their impressive skateboarding mechanics, but also their groundbreaking physics systems.
Getting that working in an online environment shows how far technology and the Full Circle team (which includes many veteran developers from the Skate series). Video from the game’s first trailer shows a chaotic, playful environment where players are trying to land complicated tricks, which is a refreshing breath air from the sea of shooters and other multiplayer games.
It does also mean that EA will likely be counting on this game to become a reliable source of live revenue. That’s good news for Full Circle, who will likely receive plenty of support to ramp up Skate into a fully-fledged live service title, but there is one downside for the long-term future of the game: if Skate ever goes offline, that’s it, it won’t be playable anymore.
Given that players can currently play the original Skate games just by picking up an old retail copy of the game, that might wind up being a disappointment down the line. Hopefully if that day ever comes, EA will make an effort to allow players to keep skating to their hearts’ delight.