'OlliOlli: Epic Combo Edition' Director On How A Small Game Grew To Get A Physical Release


Ever since Skate 3 was released, fans of skateboarding games have wanted another good game in the genre. Unfortunately, the most publicized skateboarding game released since has been the trainwreck that is Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. If you want a good game that can scratch your kickflipping itch, OlliOlli is there for you. Now that the Epic Combo Edition is here, there’s no better time to get started.

What started out as a small downloadable game has spawned a sequel and now a physical release that includes both games and extra content like and artbook and soundtrack. iDigitalTimes had the opportunity to speak with Simon Bennett, the director and developer Roll7 about how the game grew from such humble beginnings.

When asked how it feels to see a download-only game grow big enough to warrant a physical release, Bennett was elated. “Quite amazing to be honest,” Bennett said in an email. “When we started out, we really never thought people were going to like OlliOlli, so to see this Gold Adorned double pack hit the stores, well – it’s a dream come true!”

It’s interesting to note that Bennett didn’t think there would be as big a positive reception for OlliOlli, so positive that the game won a BAFTA. Bennett attributes some of this success to being in the right place at the right time. “[T]he games did better than we ever imagined! The series has had over 75 Awards and Nominations, and the highlight was definitely winning the BAFTA,” he said. “I think people were craving a skate game, I guess we just came along with the right thing at the right time.”

OlliOlli: Epic Combo Edition comes with both OlliOlli and OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood. Along with the games, an art book, soundtrack, behind-the-scenes footage, a “making of” feature on both games and exclusive interviews are all included. When asked what his favorite part of the special edition is, Bennett said he likes the new box art and art book.

“[I]t’s something really nice for fans to put in their hands and enjoy,” he said. “I think that is what is missing from a digital purchase nowadays.”

Skateboarding may not be as popular as it was in the early 2000s, but now that the sport has been confirmed for the 2020 Olympic games, there might be a resurgence of interest. “Well, more skateboarding games can only be a good thing,” Bennett said. “I guess it’s a strange space at the moment with THPS5 falling below expectations. Does that mean that bigger publishers have given up on the genre? Possibly!”

Bennett sees skateboarding games as needing to capture the feeling of skateboarding to become successful. “For us, it was about the rhythm of jumping and landing, something that seemed to resonate with skaters and gamers alike,” he said. “It would be great to see another studio’s take on the genre though!”

As for the future of Roll7, things are in the works that can’t be talked about just yet. We do have some hints, though. “[W]e have signed a deal with 505 Games, and it’s a totally new IP – something that you really wouldn’t expect from us, but retains that ‘one more try’ hallmark,” said Bennett. “As far as OlliOlli 3? Never say Never!”

OlliOlli: Epic Combo Edition is out now, exclusively on PS4. The special edition retails for $29.99.

So what do you think? Are you interested in checking out OlliOlli: Epic Combo Edition? Are you excited to see what Roll7 has in the works? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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