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Tony Hawk reveals life-changing money he made from Activision’s Pro Skater series after rejecting one-off $500,000 fee

Tony Hawk reveals life-changing money he made from Activision’s Pro Skater series after rejecting one-off $500,000 fee

Tony Hawk initially turned down Activision’s $500,000 one-off fee to use his name and likeness for the fan-favourite Pro Skater series.

Skate legend Tony Hawk revealed that Activision’s iconic skateboarding franchise “changed my life” after opening up on the hefty payday he received from the series.

Activision debuted Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in 1999 for the PlayStation and received critical acclaim, with Neversoft’s title later released for the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast and mobile devices.

Following Pro Skater’s successful release, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 arrived in 2000 and the fan-favourite Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 landed in 2001.

Activision’s franchise spawned several mainline titles including Underground and American Wasteland, as well as releasing a remaster in 2020 in the form of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2.

Hawk initially turned down the publisher and developer after he was offered a one-off compensation fee of $500,000 to use his name and likeness for the 1999 title.

The 54-year-old American star, who was the first skateboarder to successfully pull off the iconic ‘900’ trick, would later agree to a deal with Activision in 1999.

Speaking to The Nine Club in 2018, Hawk said: “When the fourth game was released, my main contact at Activision asked to have lunch with me in LA.

“He’s not the head, but he was definitely the guy overseeing our games.”

Hawk went on to reveal that he was shocked when he was handed a whopping £3.7m ($4m) cheque from Activision after Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4’s release in 2002.


“It was my annual royalty or whatever it was,” he said.

Hawk added: “I don’t want to downplay that... the video game changed my life.”

According to Hawk, an executive told him that the first three instalments in the Pro Skater franchise were still in the top 10 sales chart at the time.

Hawk later opened up about Activision’s move to buy him out of future royalties ahead of Pro Skater’s launch after they “started to sense there was buzz about it.”

Speaking on The Diary Of A CEO podcast, he said: “When they were close to launch of the game, they started to sense there was buzz about it.

“They knew they had a good game overall and they felt this surge of interest, and so they offered me a buyout of future royalties -- right before the game launched.”

Hawk added: “Nowadays an entire generation of kids have asked me if I’m named after a video game.”

The Pro Skater series has since brought in an estimated $1.4bn in sales for Activision, with 20 titles in the franchise released to date.

Featured Image Credit: The Nine Club/YouTube

Topics: Gaming