The biggest hits of the '90s are en vogue once again, from the fighting games that kept the arcade scene thriving to the game that prompted the meteoric rise of the FPS. There's no sign of this wave of nostalgia slowing down — and, with that in mind, Frontier Developments has announced Coaster Park Tycoon for a release in 2016.
As the name suggests, the title will be a spiritual sequel to the hugely popular RollerCoaster Tycoon games. Frontier Developments previously worked on two expansion packs for the second game in the series, as well as developing its third entry — the first three-dimensional RollerCoaster Tycoon. Since then, they've also been behind ThrillVille and ScreamRide, so the studio is pretty well-versed with this sort of game.
There seems to be plenty of demand for a new installment in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, too. The original is fondly remembered for marrying the addictive money-management gameplay of the Transport Tycoon games with the broad appeal of its attraction building and light-hearted aesthetic.
While critical response was decidedly mixed, the millions of copies that the 2013 reboot of SimCity sold demonstrated that construction sims still have a hungry audience that aren't being catered to. Coaster Park Tycoon could be a huge hit if its attempt name recognition grabs audiences as intended — and if it can capture the sense of fun that made RollerCoaster Tycoon so successful.
However, things aren't all rosy for Frontier Developments. The studio also announced 15 redundancies in 'content creation' roles just as news of Coaster Park Tycoon was beginning to circulate. With Elite: Dangerous having just been released and ScreamRide set to hit shelves in March, this sort of move isn't completely out of left field, but the timing is still somewhat suspicious.
As is the announcement of Coaster Park Tycoon before the similar ScreamRide is even available. It's clear that Frontier Developments consider this sort of game a speciality, but speaking to Eurogamer, Chief Creative Officer Jonny Watts described a wish to produce a 'no-holds-barred' game with Coaster Park Tycoon, which prompts the question of which holds were 'barred' in ScreamRide?
Fans of this style of game will certainly appreciate a new entry in the genre, but at the same time it's a shame not to see RollerCoaster Tycoon creator Chris Sawyer doing it himself. Perhaps if Coaster Park Tycoon proves successful, we'll see a return of the master — but until then, anything will do.
Coaster Park Tycoon is scheduled for a 2016 release on PC. ScreamRide will hit Xbox One and Xbox 360 on March 3, 2015.