One of the reasons EA's "Skate" was so widely accepted was because it wasn't a another "Tony Hawk" game. It was a different (and new) experience.
As Electronic Arts and Black Box finish work on "Skate 2," however, they need to start looking at where the franchise is going, and how to avoid falling into the same trap.
At a "Skate 2" event in San Francisco last week, the game's associate producer for environments, Shaun Laker, told me how they'll accomplish that.
"As long as we keep putting out great games and don’t rush it out and polish it and make sure we're listening to the community and hearing what they're having to say [we will avoid that]," said Laker. "A big part of it too -- and what drove our features this year -- is we were finding out how people played the game. We know people play the game to find their own spot and to own it to be able to call it their own. This year, you can go and do that, and in a community, you can share it. That's how we stay fresh and we don't go too far; we listen to the community and know what they're asking for and respond to that."
From what you've seen of "Skate 2," do you think they're on the right track? Can the developers avoid "Tony Hawk" Syndrome?