The fourth game in the Skate franchise will be free, and it also became known that its official name is Skate. The long-awaited skateboarding simulator has been in development for a long time, and from the very beginning, fans have received very sporadic updates. Only at the beginning of this month Skate showed its first footage of the gameplay, promising fans that, despite the long delay, work on the game is still ongoing.
Despite the fact that there have been few official Skate updates, a lot of gameplay footage has leaked in recent months, giving skateboarding fans a more substantial, albeit illegal, look at the development of the title. These leaks have already revealed some significant information about the game, including details about the game’s California-inspired setting, as well as footage of the online multiplayer component in action. Although the game’s release date is supposedly coming in the very near future, these gameplay leaks have provided a much deeper look at the multiplayer mode and Skate setting than anything EA has offered so far.
However, a recent video from the Skate YouTube channel provided a lot of new information. Perhaps the most surprising discovery is that the new Skate game will be free when it launches, which will be a first for the franchise. The live service element is likely to be a boon for the aforementioned multiplayer game, which has also been confirmed to have cross-play functionality on PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as on PC. This disclosure also demonstrated that the game is still at a very early stage of development, which casts doubt on EA CEO’s statement that Skate’s release date is coming soon.
The information that Skate will be free was met by some with trepidation. Free games, as a rule, carry a stigma due to the fact that they are heavily burdened with microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, which prevents players from enjoying the game if they are not willing to spend extra money on it. In-game microtransactions are arguably one of the most controversial aspects of the modern video game industry, to the point that some countries pass laws controlling and even prohibiting such practices. Some of the games they are included in have made a huge effort to monetize their titles; for example, Diablo Immortal requires $110,000 to fully upgrade a single character. In the face of such huge fees, it’s natural for fans to be wary of what Skate is up to.
However, at an early stage of development, it is difficult to say how Skate will turn out. If the main gameplay can reflect what fans liked in previous Skate games, then microtransactions can be a relatively unobtrusive factor. Theoretically, switching to a free game will significantly increase the number of players who will be able to try Skate. There is no official release date yet, only time will tell.