Atari has announced that it's renewed the Rollercoaster Tycoon license for another ten years, so if you were worried the franchise might die, it looks like you don't have anything to worry about. According to Atari, this renewal will encapsulate new games, as well as "brand and merchandising collaborations". Rollercoaster Tycoon theme park when?
Per an Atari press release, the Rollercoaster Tycoon license extension was agreed upon in conjunction with original franchise creator Chris Sawyer. The new agreement sees Atari looking to develop new Rollercoaster Tycoon games, as well as expanding distribution for the franchise and introducing new collaborations for branding and merchandising.
Unfortunately, we don't yet know exactly what form the new Rollercoaster Tycoon games could take. More recent Rollercoaster Tycoon games, like Joyride and Adventures, haven't exactly been met with overwhelming praise, and with theme park sims like Planet Coaster being widely available on both PC and consoles, Rollercoaster Tycoon's place in the industry is a little less secure than it once was.
The most recent Rollercoaster Tycoon game is Rollercoaster Tycoon Puzzle, released for mobile devices in 2020. Despite carrying the Rollercoaster Tycoon name, Puzzle is pretty much just a classic match-3 puzzler interspersed with light management mechanics (and I'm talking really light, like helium light).
In terms of mainline installments, the franchise hasn't been graced with a new game since 2016's Rollercoaster Tycoon World, which is currently sitting at a very unflattering Mostly Negative review score on Steam. Players complain of poor performance, gutted mechanics compared to previous games, and a general lack of polish, with some dubbing World "the worst Rollercoaster Tycoon game". Looks like Atari has its work cut out for it when it comes to new installments.
Sadly, we don't have any idea what direction Atari is heading in with the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise. New games could just mean more mobile match-three puzzlers, or it could mean a big new mainline installment to rival games like Parkitect or the upcoming Park Beyond. We'll have to wait and see what Atari is planning for this franchise, but one thing's for sure: it's not closing time yet.