If you were surprised to hear Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith reveal yesterday during ATVI’s 4Q conference call that there’s going to be a sequel to Tony Hawk: Ride in 2010, you really shouldn’t have been. Yes, the game currently hovers in the low 40s on Metacritic for all three versions (we threw it a bone and said it worked pretty well). Yes, it sold only 114,000 units in its first month on sale according to NPD. And yes, EA, not Activision, owns the best skateboard game franchise right now and plans to cement this fact when it releases Skate 3 in May.
But this is Tony Hawk we’re talking about. It’s not going away. It’s as much of a cornerstone brand for Activision as Call of Duty, which was on shaky ground too until Modern Warfare revitalized it. If you believe Griffith, Activision spent so much time and effort developing Ride’s wireless skateboard controller that they didn’t have as much time as they wanted to work the kinks out of the actual game. Sure, you can argue that they should have delayed the game to address some of the playability issues. They didn’t so it’s time to look ahead to Tony Hawk: Ride 2. Surely it’ll be a smoother Ride than the first one, right?