EA reveals 'pre-pre-pre-alpha' Skate gameplay, closed beta signups are now open

The wheels continue to turn on Skate 4, EA's upcoming kickflip-and-grind sim, which is now officially called just Skate—"skate.," technically, but we're pretty sticky about the proper use of capitalization and punctuation around here, so Skate it is. We got our first glimpse at it courtesy of some footage that leaked back in April, and today we were given a proper look at what it's all about—sort of.

"We told you we’re back, and we’re still working on it—but it’s time for you to see what we’ve been up to," EA said. "It’s still early, but we want to get this right and that means we want you to be a part of it."

It definitely looks early. The video, labelled "pre-pre-pre-alpha," begins with a bare-bones mechanical showcase in a world without textures, before eventually transforming into something more polished, but still a little rough around the edges. It's an interesting look at a game in the early stages of development, especially since that sort of "under construction" perspective is generally not shared by major publishers like EA.

The really interesting thing about the trailer, though, is the blend of skating and parkour on display—"skarkour," as features producer Nat Clayton put it. Most of the action is on boards, naturally, but there's no overlooking the moments of swinging, climbing, and wallrunning scattered here and there, either.

EA also announced today that it is now taking sign ups for Skate closed beta testing. Sticking with the "it's still very early" theme, there's no start date for test sessions yet, and EA warned that you may be waiting for a while to get in: "We need to scale access to Skate gradually as development progresses to ensure a smooth experience, and that means we can’t guarantee how soon you’ll get to play."

"We’re very early in the development of Skate and are bringing players into the game much sooner than is the norm in our industry," the FAQ states. "We’re incredibly passionate about skate and want to ensure we’re building the best possible game, and that’s why we want you playing and providing feedback early enough for us to make meaningful decisions and changes ahead of a worldwide launch."

Skate closed beta testing will be available exclusively on PC via Origin.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.