I think the person most disappointed by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, was Tony Hawk himself. The man had to do press tours, swear under oath that this was a rad game and his name was proudly plastered onto what would become an actual travesty. THPS5 was such a colossal mess from front to back that you won’t be surprised if Tony Hawk changed his name to Billy Eagle in order to hide his shame from being featured on the cover. However, this was by no means Tony Hawk’s fault. He didn’t program it, he probably didn’t even receive a lot of creative input and they just used his name as brand recognition in the end. Activision were the ones responsible for this massive bail of a game.
It would be no surprise that Tony Hawk wasn’t very impressed with the output by the studio and nobody can blame him for wanting to distance himself from the company. He possibly gets hounded by fans every day asking for a “proper” Tony Hawk game or a remaster of the classic titles, which must be a source of endless frustration. He then made this tweet in response to those fans:
To anyone asking me to ‘remaster” old games, or complaining about THPS servers being down: Activision owns the THPS license but I am no longer working with them. If I had the skills / authority to reboot servers or code games for newer systems on my own, I would be happy to…
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) February 26, 2018
His decision shouldn’t really come as any surprise because if a friend of you dumps a vat of boiling oil on your head, you’re probably not going to their birthday party. What this means for the future of the franchise is much more interesting, since Tony Hawk doesn’t own the Tony Hawk licence, which sounds insane, but that’s just how legal systems work. You have to feel for Tony Hawk because he probably wants to give fans what they really want, but thanks to the red tape, legality and all the other unsavoury nonsense going on, his hands are basically tied. It might be the last time we see the skater ever work on video games, but there might be a chance that he involves himself in other projects.