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EA's latest Skate entry is free-to-play live-service game

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Fans eagerly awaited fresh news of EA’s highly-anticipated new Skate game have been given their wish, but it mighn’t be quite what they were expecting. EA and developer Full Circle have shared a new 18-minute video, announcing, among other things, that their long-awaited skateboarding revival will be a free-to-play live-service game.

Despite having variously been known as both Skate 4 and a Skate reboot since its development was announced in 2020, Full Circle now says it “isn’t a sequel, it’s not a remake, a reboot, [or] a prequel.” Instead, it’s described as an “authentic evolution” of the series – whose last mainline entry arrived 12 years ago – that reflects “where skateboarding and gaming is in the real world”.

It’s also now got an official name in the form of “Skate.” (that fullstop is here to stay), and a new setting in San Vansterdam – described as a sister city to previous games’ San Vanelona.

Skate – The Board Room.
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Framing its free-to-play lives-service announcement as a chance to “listen to [players] over the course of time, and put the features [they] want into it”, Full Circle says the plan is to keep updating the game for “years to come”, given players something they can “regularly come back to and discover new things”.

That means a regular influx of “new gameplay elements and tweaks, new content releases and events, and lots of seasonal drops”, with Skate supporting full cross-play and cross-progression across PC and consoles at launch. The same features will also be included in a mobile release – said to still be “pretty early on” in development – coming at a later date.

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Inevitably, microtransactions will serve as the means to support continuing development, but Full Circle says its taking its inspiration for its monetisation model from games like Apex Legends where spending money is “mostly about cosmetics and convenience”. To that end, it promises Skate won’t be pay to win, players won’t need to pay to unlock any gameplay elements or areas of the map, there won’t be any paid loot boxes, and there won’t be any paid gameplay advantages.

There’s still no release date for Skate yet, with Full Circle playing it coy with a “when it’s ready”, and its ongoing community testing – which has resulted in a range of leaks in recent times – is described as “pre-, pre-, pre-alpha”. However, EA recently opened up access to the “broader community”, and while places will be initially be limited, Full Circle plans to extend access to “more and more players” over the coming months.

Those wanting to get involved can sign up via the Skate website.

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