Leaks are the bane of every publisher's existence, forcing marketing plans to shift, change, or just get scrapped. But that's partly why I'm enjoying EA's approach for advertising the Skate. reboot. Footage from the open-world skateboarders’ playtest leaked last September, and EA have since responded by releasing their own janky videos. These clips give us a taste of the whacky ragdolling happening right now, and it's probably the most entertaining way of marketing a game while simultaneously sucking the air out of leaks.
There are currently three Insider Playtest Highlight videos, showing off the whitebox mayhem and janky physics from the early builds. The videos are a refreshing look at what games look like early on, but it’s also just great marketing. The quick montages display the game’s cool tricks, the exciting ways we’ll be able to navigate the city, and the deadly shenanigans of playtesters. Looking at the most recent highlight has me craving the bone-breaking mini-game from Skate 3 - skating off a ledge into certain doom is a surprisingly graceful task, and one that takes a lot of precision. The only thing I want to see next is if I can still terrorise NPCs by whacking them with my board.
Developer Full Circle released more information about the game last summer, letting us know it was just skate. this time (not Skate 4) and that it would launch as a free-to-play download. This was definitely eyebrow-raising news, but the studio made four promises in regard to microtransactions. There’ll apparently be no lootboxes, no pay-to-win, no paywalled areas, and no paid gameplay advantages. Full Circle’s general manager Dan McCulloch said “It’s mostly about cosmetics and convenience.”
We’ll see how a free-to-play skate. shakes out when it's ready for release on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. For now, you can join the early chaos and register to become an insider here.