Tony Hawk returns to gaming with mobile download

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Skateboarding pioneer Tony Hawk is updating his presence in the gaming world with the release of Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam for mobile.

The free download launched Thursday. It is available on iOS and Android devices.

Hawk said he released a video game every year from 1999 to 2015, and the mobile game is a logical extension of the franchise.

“The significance is doing it on a mobile platform,” the 50-year-old Hawk said in a phone interview. “The technology has come so far in the last five years, even less, that we are able to do a console-quality game on a mobile platform. I’m really excited to bring skateboarding and my flavor to something along those lines.”

Gamers can drop into a skate session from wherever they are. They can play through for free, or make in-app purchases to accelerate their progress.

Hawk said the beauty of having the game on mobile is it can be updated every day.

“You can push better levels, updates, equipment, things like that,” he said.

Players can compete in global online tournaments known as “skate jams,” or explore more than 15 different skate parks across five regions in “career mode.”

In all game modes, players will experience what it’s like to skate like Hawk in the “Hawk Mode.”

Hawk said he is the only real-world character in the game, one of the perks of his status.

“Or one of the demands of having a game with my name on it,” he said.

“I feel it will be met with great scrutiny, but I feel the fun factor is there, and fans of our previous series will find a lot of similar controls and similar fun,” said Hawk, who worked on the game in conjunction with Maple Media of Los Angeles.

“It’s been a while and people expect a lot from a title with my name on it based on our previous success,” Hawk said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and excited to finally have a game on your phone.”