Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 recently made its debut on the Steam platform after being an exclusive on the Epic Games Store for three years. The launch on Steam was welcomed with excitement by many players. However, it was disappointing to discover that the game still retained its always-online requirement, even on Steam. The developers attempted to rectify this issue with the release of the 1.1 patch, allowing offline play, but with a baffling limitation: it was only accessible on the Steam Deck. This decision raises several questions and fails to provide a satisfactory explanation for this discrepancy.
It is perplexing why the developers chose to grant offline play exclusively to the Steam Deck. While the Steam Deck, as a handheld device, would benefit from the removal of the always-online requirement due to its portability, it doesn’t justify neglecting the vast majority of PC players. If the game can be played offline on the Steam Deck, there is no logical reason why the same functionality cannot be extended to all Steam players on their PCs. Additionally, this limitation also applies to players on the Epic Games Store, leaving them without the option for offline play. It is unclear why the developers would implement such a stark divide between different PC gaming platforms.
The decision to make offline play exclusive to the Steam Deck raises suspicions of favoritism on the part of the developers. Is this exclusivity purely due to the physical resemblance of the Steam Deck to a skateboard, or are there other undisclosed motives at play? One would hope that developers prioritize fair treatment of all players and platforms, without showing preferential treatment based on the physical design of a device. It is essential to ensure that all players, regardless of their chosen platform, have access to the same improvements and features.
Even though the Steam Deck is deserving of proper optimization and support, it is disheartening that the inclusion of offline play as a basic quality-of-life improvement has become a platform-exclusive feature. This decision undermines the goal of achieving parity among different platforms and neglects the majority of the player base who enjoy the game on their PCs. It sets a negative precedent where platform-exclusive features are prioritized over the satisfaction of all players.
Potential for a Wider Implementation
One can only hope that Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, will take notice of the dissatisfaction caused by the exclusivity of offline play on the Steam Deck. With their vast financial resources, it should be within their means to extend this feature to all PC players, regardless of their platform of choice. It is crucial for developers to consider the impact of such decisions on the overall gaming experience and ensure that players feel valued and included.
While Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 has been well-received by players, the decision to make offline play exclusive to the Steam Deck raises valid concerns about fairness and parity among PC platforms. Developers should strive to provide equal opportunities and features to all players, regardless of their chosen platform. Hopefully, this discrepancy will be rectified in the future to ensure a more inclusive and enjoyable gaming experience for everyone.