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Tony Hawk: I'm ready to take on the mobile world

Written by Kiran Moodley, reported by Karen Tso
Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 11:27 AM ET
Tony Hawk
Gareth Cattermole | Getty Images For Laureus
Tony Hawk

Former professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, who is renowned for his line of successful video games, told CNBC he was ready to take on the mobile-gaming world.

The 45-year-old, nicknamed "The Birdman" for his skating acrobatics, is famous for the series of 16 video game titles bearing his name. These launched in 1999, when most people played games on video consoles, but Hawks told CNBC the terrain had changed with the onset of smartphones and tablet devices.

(Learn more: Tony Hawk)

"You just have to adapt and you have to realize where people are going to actually play their games," said Hawks, speaking from the Dublin Web Summit, the biggest event of its kind in Europe.

"It used to just be Nintendo and PlayStation, and now it's all kind of devices. So you've got to learn to adapt what you know from the technology into those areas...I've been wanting to do a mobile game for a long time."

Hawk said the best model for mobile-gaming appeared to be to offer the game for free, but start charging customers once they wanted to progress to the next levels of the game.

He added that he had also become involved in online social platforms, launching a YouTube channel in January 2012 called RIDE that he hopes will become the resource for skating content.

"Technology has allowed me to reach my fans directly," Hawk said, adding, "Social media: it has been a complete revolution of how to interact, promote and share things."

(Read more: Grand Theft Auto V shoots video game sales to recovery)

He admitted that it was a challenge to rise above the abundance of other game vendors, but said he had an advantage over competitors because his brand was so well-known.

"I think that we established ourselves pretty early on in our series and so people think of that as the standard for skateboarding video games," Hawk said.

(Read more: Game On! The Unauthorized History of Video Games)

CNBC asked Hawk whether he could offer any advice to young entrepreneurs starting out in a challenging economic climate.

"I don't think there is any formula that says you're going to make money from the get-go," he said. "But definitely, if it's something that catches hold and something that people really do want to use, the more widespread it gets, the more attention you're going to get and the more investors you're going to get. Instagram is a perfect example of that."

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