Atari's Rollercoaster Tycoon World has been delayed until "early 2016" according to a development blog post on the official website for the game. They released a statement there saying:
Many of you loved the game, some found certain aspects frustrating, and you all had tons of thoughtful suggestions for improvements. Based on your feedback and our own internal processes, here is a short list of features that will significantly improve the final product: easier “predefined piece” coaster building, additional coaster test feedback, a robust fencing tool, improved on-demand grid, and various smaller improvements.
To accommodate these improvements, and ensure that RollerCoaster Tycoon World will be the best, most innovative RCT experience to date, we will launch the game in early 2016. The new launch date will be communicated after the second preview.
Our highest priority has always been to release a game that we’re proud of, one that lives up to the lofty standards set by the previous titles. With this new timing we will be able to do just that – deliver a robust tycoon experience along with additional layers of polishing and tweaks that the extra time affords us.
Rollercoaster Tycoon World has had a troubled development. The original developer Pipeworks Software was replaced by Area 52 Games with no explanation from Atari. The developer was replaced again by Nvizzio Creations. The original release date was set to be December 10, 2015.
Atari and Nvizzio have detailed what they intend to use the extra time for in their blog post.
To start, the beta lacked the ability to create rollercoasters with prefabricated parts. Rollercoaster Tycoon World currently uses a "3D spline-based coaster editor" which permits a much more free-form design. User feedback has indicated that some players would like to be able to design coasters with a system similar to the one in previous titles. The new prefab system will not replace the spline-based system but rather act as an additional option for those who want to use it.
The rollercoaster test mode was also cited by beta testers as not providing enough information. Traditionally, rollercoasters in Rollercoaster Tycoon had to balance Excitement, Nausea, and Intensity ratings that were based on a variety of factors including speed and G-forces.
There are also some smaller problems that Atari aims to correct in RollerCoaster Tycoon World with the additional development time. Rollercoasters had a tendency to fly off the tracks too often. The fencing tool will be improved to make it easier to place fences quickly and align them precisely. And lastly, improvements to the on-demand grid system are listed as a key area for improvement.
The developers have of course stated their intention to fix bugs as well as add a little more polish to RollerCoaster Tycoon World. There is not yet an official release date, but it appears that the additional time is going to be spent addressing many of the issues brought up by players during the beta. They have almost moved the second preview week to December to work on these changes so people can give feedback.
Rollercoaster Tycoon World had me a bit concerned. And when I saw this video by Nerd³, my heart sank:
Nerd³'s accompanying tweets at the time weren't particularly comforting for a fan of the franchise, either:https://twitter.com/DanNerdCubed/status/660974933288333312
Atari hasn't had the best history in recent years with games (Ed Note: See Alone In the Dark: Illumination and Haunted House Remake among a few recent 'shining' examples), and as a fan of the series I was already unsure about how well Rollercoaster Tycoon World would turn out. However, fan feedback has seemingly convinced Atari to push back the release date of the game. I'm sure the nearly 400,000 views on Nerd³'s video was a factor in the decision as well.
I'm of the opinon that a delayed game is a good thing. I'd rather a game miss its release date so problems can be fixed rather than a half-assed version be released in order to get a game out the door before the end of the quarter. I hope Atari and Nvizzio will be using the additional time well and do justice to one of my favorite franchises.
What do you think of Atari's choice to delay RollerCoaster Tycoon World? Did you take part in the beta? What are your expectations for the game? Let us know in the comments below!