Tony Hawk: Shred suffered terrible sales upon its October release, but for publisher Activision the iconic skateboarder is still relevant.
Shred, which comes with a plastic motion-sensing peripheral, sold a paltry 3000 copies during October in the US. Activision let go many from the Robomodo development team before the game was even released. Reviews are scarce.
The game's performance led some to question Tony Hawk's viability as a videogame cover star, but Activision claimed poor sales are not his fault.
"Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people," Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg told IndustryGamers.
"He is a lasting icon. He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power, seemingly. And that doesn't mean that other great skaters haven't come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category, so that's not the issue."
So what, then, is the issue? "I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture people's imaginations," Hirshberg said.
At least we know what Activision believes is not the issue: the peripheral. "This game, the relationship between the game and the board is spectacular," Hirshberg said. "It's a whole different level from Tony Hawk: Ride." Ah, yes. Tony Hawk: Ride.
For its part, Activision expects Shred, which is designed for kids, to sell steadily over the Christmas period.
"It's early to close the book on Tony Hawk Shred, because we are marketing it to kids, and it is a great gift, and the gift-giving season has already begun," Hirshberg claimed.
"We're going to keep the pedal to the metal on that and continue to market through the holiday and hopefully we'll deliver some proponents."