SBD/February 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tony Hawk Skateboarding Video Game Outsells Shaun White's Debut Effort

Activision's "Tony Hawk Shred" sold an
estimated 270,000 copies in '10
Tony Hawk and Shaun White, "two of the biggest names in extreme sports," both were featured on skateboarding video game titles last year, but "in a battle of two generations of skateboarders, Hawk ruled the roost and kicked newcomer White to the curb," according to John Gaudosi of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Video game tracking firm NPD Group data indicated that Activision's "Tony Hawk Shred" game "sold over 135,000 copies in the U.S. alone in 2010, compared to under 60,000 copies" of Ubisoft's "Shaun White Skateboarding." Hawk "sold an estimated 270,000 copies" of the game worldwide, compared to 120,000 copies for White's game. While White has released three snowboarding games with Ubisoft "over the past few years, this marks his first foray into skateboarding." Wedbush Morgan Securities video game analyst Michael Pachter noted that White "has helped Ubisoft sell over 3.5 million snowboarding games in the U.S. alone since he entered the games space in 2008." Meanwhile, Hawk partners with Activision on the "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" games, and his video games "have generated over $1 billion in revenue for Activision." Pachter said that Hawk and White are "competing for a video game market that will support sales of about 3 to 4 million units per year." Gaudosi notes EA "released the simulation-based 'Skate 3' in May 2010, which features the voice of actor and former pro skater Jason Lee" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/2).

TAKING THE PLUNGE: USA TODAY's Mike Snider reports Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps' first video game, "Push the Limit," is scheduled to be released in June and "uses the Kinect hands-free control sensor for Microsoft's Xbox 360 system in lieu of a pool." Players "stand upright and work their arms -- no kicking required -- in a variety of swimming stroke motions as they advance from introductory swim meets to championships." Phelps said the game is "all based on moves and actual strokes." Phelps: "They're trying to pretty much make my stroke look as close as possible in the game as it is in person." Phelps at the beginning of the game "teaches proper swimming technique, from diving in to reaching for the wall." But publisher 505 Games' Pete Matisse said the "ultimate goal of the game is to swim against Michael and actually beat him" (USA TODAY, 2/2).
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