Activision Insists Tony Hawk Still Relevant
We dont mean to dwell on the bad news of others, but there really is an almost clinical fascination to it: Tony Hawk Shred sold only 3,000 units in the U.S. in its debut month of October. Yes, 3,000. It was a shockingly small number for what was once one of Activisions premier franchises, but according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, it hasnt scared them away from the brand -- or from Tony Hawk himself.
"The one question that I can answer, and remarkably so, is that Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people," Hirshberg said to IndustryGamers. "He is a lasting icon. He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power, seemingly. And that doesnt mean that other great skaters havent come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category, so thats not the issue."
So what is the issue? Hirshberg says Activision simply needs to continue to innovate. "I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture peoples imaginations," he said.
And as for Shred, Hirshberg reiterated his past insistance that the ultimate success of the title remains to be seen. "I think its early to close the book on Tony Hawk Shred, because we are marketing it to kids, and it is a great gift, and the gift-giving season has already begun," Hirshberg said. "Were going to keep the pedal to the metal on that and continue to market through the holiday and hopefully well deliver some proponents."
Theres only about two-and-a-half weeks of holidays hopping left, though, so for Activisions sake, shoppers better start warming up to Shred soon.