RollerCoaster Tycoon on the Nintendo Switch might actually be a thing soon, according to a new announcement from Atari. The game is being billed as an entirely new game that will hold true to the longstanding legacy of the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, complete with gameplay and systems adapted perfectly to the Switch platform.
“At Atari Game Partners, we’re confident in the incredible potential for the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise on the Nintendo Switch,” Atari Game Partners’ president and COO, Todd Shallbetter, said in the press release. “Community investment will secure the development process to create an exciting new version of this iconic franchise for gamers around the world to enjoy.”
The company went further, saying that the Switch port would have “exclusive features” and that it would play like an “original game made specifically for Switch” with plenty of innovative changes and new content. That all sounds well and good, until you start digging deeper and noticing some problems.
So you might be wondering why this is all so weird, as are many other people reacting to this news. There’s a couple of reasons why Atari doing things this way has some people raising their red flags and waving them about. For one thing, this isn’t your typical Kickstarter. By using the site StartEngine, Atari is actually looking for investors in their company. The funds raised aren’t event necessarily going to be used on the Switch port of RollerCoaster Tycoon. The game is really just the draw to get backers to throw their money into Atari’s pockets.
Secondly, there’s a rather weird reward structure to this campaign for RollerCoaster Tycoon on Switch. Because it’s actually an investment round and not a traditional crowdfunding campaign, there’s higher standards to meet when kicking in your cash. Backers must pledge a minimum of $250 to take part. And what’s worse, there’s no copy of the new game included. There are also tiers for $750 and $1,500, netither of which include a copy of the game. You do get a 25% off coupon though, but come on Atari, quit being so cheap.
By the way, for that cash injection, backers receive a 50% share of the profits from the project until they get 120% of their initial investment in return.
So whatever happens here, it doesn’t look like we will be seeing RollerCoaster Tycoon on Switch anytime soon. And judging by the flood of angry comments and news pieces, there’s a strong likelihood that the project gets pulled at some point in the future.