The future of the Skate franchise remains entirely confusing and frustrating as EA let one trademark slip only to renew another. Skate 3 launched in 2010, and fans have been clamoring for a fourth ever since. With a trademark in hand, surely a new Skate title is coming? Not so fast.
The Skate series made its debut in 2007 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. At the time, the title was wildly revolutionary for the genre, moving the skateboarding controls onto two analog sticks rather than relegating them to the face buttons on a controller. The result was a fluid, fast, and deceptively natural skateboarding feeling that developer EA Black Box made even better thanks to an elevated difficulty. This wasn't arcade-like, something fans of Tony Hawk's Pro Skate have always loved. It was closer to a skateboarding simulation. Of course, it was still a bombastic game with crazy tricks, but it simply felt one-of-a-kind.
This week, GamesRadar+ broke the news that EA had abandoned one trademark reservation for Skate. The trademark was filed in February of 2018, but the story uncovered indicates that the registration was terminated as EA failed to respond to correspondence over the application. All of that left fans to assume the absolute worst for the franchise.
The folks at HyperXGaming found that additional trademarks for Skate were actually renewed, so the word of EA's abandoning the franchise altogether have temporarily dulled. GamesRadar+ got further clarification from someone familiar with trademark law. Caroline Womack, Associate at video game law specialists Morrison Rothman LLP, indicated that EA likely filed for other trademarks since there was a chance one could be denied. Call it a safety measure done in order to protect their IP, something a company like EA would totally do.
The bad news? None of this means Skate 4 is coming. It's in a company's best interest to protect its intellectual property, and that means solvent corporations work to maintain trademarks and patents on a regular basis. The news here is that EA is practicing typical IP protection, and little else. That means that it's business as usual for the Skate franchise. Since we heard only two years ago from EA that Skate 4 was not in development, it's safe to assume that the title is either not in the works at all or a long way off.
Unfortunately, the future of the Skate franchise remains as murky and troubling as ever. Skate 4 is no closer to becoming reality with any of this news, and it's also just as far from outright abandonment. This is just about as "in limbo" as something can get. It's worth noting that EA has been reviving other franchises, if holding on to hope is your thing. For those who have been lusting after a new Skate game, maybe take a look at Session. It just released in early access on Steam, and it's doing pretty well in user reviews.