Classic 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater' Games Getting HD Remasters

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater - Publicity - H 2020
The first two entries in the long-running skateboarding franchise have been updated with 4K visuals, new features and online multiplayer — but the original maps, professional skaters and soundtrack will be there, too.

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Game publisher Activision and developer Vicarious Visions are set to remaster the two original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video games for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, launching Sept. 4. 

The two titles (1999's Pro Skater and 2000's Pro Skater 2) will be fully remastered with modern 4K, HD visuals and feature the original maps, professional skaters, soundtrack, tricks and modes from the original games, packaged together. The remasters will also include new features such as online multiplayer, new tricks, secrets and an expanded skatepark creation tool. 

"We're putting a lot of love and attention into these," Jean Oneal, studio head at Vicarious Visions, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The levels are remade from the ground up, all the assets are completely remade, but if you still have that muscle memory to pull off a combo line, it's all still there."

Vicarious Visions has previously partnered with Activision to remaster the three original Crash Bandicoot games from the Sony PlayStation era in 2017's Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collection. That remaster proved to be a boon for both companies as the N. Sane Trilogy went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide. 

The first two Pro Skater games were major hits when they first launched on the PlayStation. The two titles were the second- and third-highest selling games on the console in 2000 and went on to spawn a franchise that includes more than a dozen entries over the past 20-plus years. The franchise has earned an estimated $1.4 billion since its inception. 

"These titles captured a moment in time in pop culture," Oneal says. "When we look at our remasters, we're finding that 20 years is kind of a sweet spot. People remember something they love and want to recapture that moment."

Updating the game for a modern audience goes beyond just improved visuals, and Oneal is particularly excited to see players' creations in the new build-a-park mode. "The tools are pretty robust and you'll be able to essentially become a skatepark designer," she says, noting that the ability to share one's skatepark creation with others online is something the Vicarious Visions team is especially eager to see in action.

Hawk himself was also "very involved," in the process, says Oneal. "Very early on, we got assurance from him that we were heading in the right direction and throughout development we got feedback," she says.

While the Pro Skater franchise's recent entries have waned in popularity since its heyday, Oneal is confident the remasters will capitalize on fans' nostalgia and the current remake trend in gaming. "I hope people get their hands on it, new and old alike, and just have fun with it," she says.