Atari Reviving Alone In The Dark & RollerCoaster Tycoon

They go up-tiddly-up-up, they go down-tiddly-down-down.

Atari today is not the company behind the Atari 2600 and Atari ST of The Good Old Days. The name and the brands it owns have been passed around for years in oh so many buyouts and licensing deals. Atari today is a tiny company subsisting on marrow sucked from the corpses of its faded brands; in March it employed only ten people. However, they do still have some big (or once-big) names to sling around.

This week Atari announced new Alone in the Dark and Rollercoaster Tycoon games. And, sure, a new Haunted House too, I guess, whatever.

Alone in the Dark: Illumination is due this autumn, which seems awfully soon for a game we haven’t seen even in concept art. Though it’s revered by some, I still maintain that the adventure/survival horror series was never good. The puzzles were convoluted and the combat awful, but it wowed people with polygons. We were simple people in 1992, you must understand. Though it had pretty fire, the 2008 revival was not good either. We really don’t know anything about this new game at this point.

RollerCoaster Tycoon: World, on the other hand, isn’t due until “early 2015” but does have one of those there “teaser” trailers. I hope this turns out well as I really did enjoy running my own theme park, then building increasingly dangerous rides when my attention waned. Solid simulation of building and businessing with opportunities to murder people–that’s all I ask.

[Sidenote: I was sorry during Gamescom to see Frontier only announced their murdercoaster sim ScreamRide for Xbox. It’s about building theme park rides with the express goal of killing people.]

Then, uh, sure, a new Haunted House is due this autumn too. Atari’s last attempt to revive the Atari 2600 survival horror was rubbish. It’s probably not a good sign that we haven’t seen anything of this year’s revival when we’re only a few months, tops, from release.


  1. GameCat says:

    Alone in the Dark and Rollercoaster? So, it’s gonna be like Silent Hill 3 intro?

  2. Mittens89 says:

    Is Chris Sawyer involved in the new RCT game?

    • l4wl says:

      He’s involved as a consultant according to his Wikipedia page, but that info doesn’t seem very reliable…

    • LionsPhil says:

      I doubt it, given he wasn’t meaningfully involved in RCT3 either.

      • Mittens89 says:

        Didn’t he sue Atari for something? I vaguely remember something happening between the two.

        Well I hope he gets involved in some way. RCT 1 was an incredible achievement, for what it was.

  3. rexx.sabotage says:

    Atari of all people should be the first in line to grab that sweet nostalgia-cash

    • Cinek says:

      People in Atari are not the people who made those games that you are nostalgic about. Right now it’s nothing more than a label Activision sticks on a products.

      • SpectralThundr says:

        If by Activision you mean Infogrames, Activision has zero to do with the Atari name or brand. Infogrames acquired it when they acquired Hasbro Interactive back in 2001. Atari has not been it’s only company since it’s inception before being acquired by Warner Communications (now Time Warner) in the early 80’s, while it’s arcade division was eventually separated and acquired by WMS (Willams Bally Midway) in the early 90’s, only for it to eventually end up again apart of Warner since Warner Bros games acquired the remains of Midway’s smoking remains when WMS left the arcade industry to focus on slot machines in the early 2000’s. WB Games owns the rights to the backlog of Atari Games arcade IP, Infogrames owns the rights to Atari’s home market machines and IP.

  4. irongamer says:

    Tycoon: alone in the dark on a roller coaster. I’ll leave before this idea runs off the tracks.

  5. Premium User Badge

    samsharp99 says:

    I hope someone that played them more than me can comment but I thought the more recent RCT games were pretty rubbish?

    • Leaufai says:

      It didn’t have the charm of RCT1, but I quite liked RCT3. Made some good improvements and handled the transition to 3D quite well.

    • Jake says:

      I really love RCT3, it still plays well today. I just play the free mode and spend hours theming rides and areas. I think in terms of how obsessive it lets you be about meaningless aesthetics, no other game can compare (except maybe Sim City 4 with mods). Any new RCT game will need to have at least the same amount of items you can place to be worthwhile. If I can’t make a decent Jurassic Park themed safari or alien invasion themed rollercoaster then what the fuck use is it.

      Unfortunately when they get really big, the parks kill my computer.

    • Fox89 says:

      RCT3 is a 2005 game I think, so not very recent! It’s technically better than RCT 1 & 2 in a lot of ways, but I still don’t like it as much. Still a very good game though.

      The only other RollerCoaster Tycoon game is RCT4 Mobile. Which is EVERYTHING you would fear when you hear it’s a mobile game and worse. That one is certainly a dark stain on the franchise name.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    I had no idea Infrogrames had fallen on such hard times.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I hope Microprose is alright.

      • MadMattH says:

        Microprose hasn’t been alright for a long, long time now. Some company called Cybergun Group owns the name now.

  7. tomimt says:

    I liked Alone 1 and 3 quite a bit. The second one was pretty horrible and the new ones I’ve never even tried. I do hope though that they go back to the early 20th, late 19th century with the game, as that is a setting that fits better the kind of horror stories the originals were.

  8. Amstrad says:

    I think anyone looking for a new RCT should focus their hopes and dreams over here: link to
    Rather than waste them on an Atari project that’s sure to disappoint.

    • Stupoider says:

      “The current plan is to get the game into alpha and onto Steam Greenlight/Early Access some time this year.”

      I think I’ll pass.

  9. Martel says:

    All I want is Oculus Rift and mod/coaster sharing support so I can ride some crazy coasters from the safety of my own office.

    • onodera says:

      That will give you the worst headache of your life. Without inner ear stimulation it will be ten times worse than playing a FPS.

      • Evertoaster says:

        I enjoy the tech demos rollercoaster rides on the oculus. A lot of people are not effected by motion sickness.

  10. Big Murray says:

    The real news here is that Atari still exists.

  11. mauzed says:

    Are they really going to release a game titled “alone in the dark: illumination”?

    • strangeloup says:

      I liked Richard Cobbett’s comment on Twitter that it was the best title for a survival horror since Resident Evil: Evil Finally Gets Its Own Place.

  12. Supernaiivi says:

    Two new games to be released this fall? Sure, that seems reasonable. Maybe “TERROR RETURNS FALL 2014” means that they’ll release a trailer or something? I don’t know. Nothing about this really makes any sense whatsoever. Maybe they’ll both just be Facebook games.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I’m betting on the new standard for quick dev cycle crap: Mobile, then shovelwareshoveled to Steam.

      • NicholasTimothyJones says:

        Well RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 is already on iOS and soon to be released on android. Unless this new one it’s built from the ground up, it will simply be a mobile port with ‘exclusive features for PC’ or ‘based on the hit iOS and Android game’.

        • teije says:

          RCT4 mobile is freemium shovelware. Pocket Tactics ripped it apart awhile ago in a review.

        • tyren says:

          Didn’t they already announce a separate non-port PC RCT back when 4 was announced?

          link to

          • Supernaiivi says:

            Well, it’s hard to believe that it’ll be something completely different than an “enhanced” PC version of a mobile game. I mean, the game’s supposed to launch fall 2014, they’ve shown absolutely nothing about it, and IT IS ALMOST FALL 2014. I’m not very optimistic about this.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Also Alone in the Dark isn’t even listed anywhere, nobody has seen anything of it, and it’s out this year? How can this be anything other than some quickie Youtube bait current trend horror game.

    • Fox89 says:

      RCT isn’t coming ‘Fall 2014’ it’s coming ‘Early 2015’. They’ve previously said it’s a completely stand alone thing that bears no resemblance to the mobile title which is being created by a different developer. Apparently it will have: – No microtransactions, optional 4 player co-op and an offline single player with “all the gameplay you loved from previous games”.

      So it talks the talk at the very least. Jury will have to stay out for now though.

    • Artificial says:

      No idea where you’re getting fall 2014 from when it says early 2015.

  13. Zaxwerks says:

    Hmmm… this is the same 10 person Atari that is also releasing a game called Pridefest where you manage and run your own gay pride festerval… I am a tad worried about the quality of “Rollercoaster Tycoon” we might be getting if the same company thinks the gay gaming community is screaming out for a gay pride simulator as well.

    Speaking “on behalf of my people”, I play Mass Effect and am greatful for a bit of male Sheppard and Kaiden lip-lock action, I wouldn’t be adverse to my Prince of Persia rescuing another prince rather than a princess, if somehow Nathan Drake from Uncharted got a bit hot and heavy with Alastair from Dragon Age that would totally work for me as well (as long as the gameplay was solid and there was a good inventory management system)… but a game about managing a Pride festerval… errr… can’t really say as the target demographic that is something I have the remotest interest in whatsoever… and these people are designing the newest installment of the Rollercoaster fanchise that I love… oh dear…

    • Nogo says:

      Pipeworks, a medium sized Oregon studio is doing the development.

      They do licensed products of various genres. Deadliest Warrior was a decent reprisal of the Bushido Blade sensibilities, despite coming off a bit budget, dunno what was with the bizarre land conquest game thrown in tho.

      They’re a competent lot, but haven’t really shown any brilliance yet. Good luck to em!

  14. Borodin says:

    Subsiding? I hope you mean subsisting?!

  15. XhomeB says:

    I absolutely love the first AitD, 2&3… not so much. So much awesomeness was lost for no reason.
    How’s The New Nightmare? Would anyone recommend it?

  16. jasondesante says:

    If Chris Sawyer isn’t working on the new Roller Coaster Tycoon, it doesn’t matter.

    I bought Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 or whatever it’s called on iOS.

    Atari deserves to be out of business those crooks. I don’t care about their new non iOS RCT game, they already took a dump in my mouth.

    • Stupoider says:

      Considering you’re willingly playing mobile games, I think it’s more than likely that you positioned yourself under Atari and gladly opened your mouth for what was to come.

  17. somnolentsurfer says:

    Hasn’t building rollercoasters that kill people always been the goal of RollerCoaster Tycoon?

  18. socrate says:

    with all the DLC put in games today i doubt this is gonna end up a good things

  19. BehindYou!!! says:

    Roller Coaster Tychoon 2 was the best one by far. The 3d versions focused on gimmicks rather than solid gameplay. They focused too heavily on firework creators, gimmicky decorations and coaster cams but didn’t pay attention to UI and economy in game which was broken in many regards. So many times you will be cash strapped or the fund flow will be so slow that it stopped being fun. The confusing interface didn’t help either. Its not that I suck at this game as I have completed all scenarios in main game as well as both expansions but it was mostly a grind of building only some of the attractions that made money and stopping yourself from building what you really wanted.

  20. InfamousPotato says:

    I remember playing a similar game called Sim Theme Park. I had a ton of fun playing it with my family when I was little (we lost the disk, haven’t played it since). There was a first person mode where you could walk around the park, and also ride whatever you’d built. I’d devote sections of my land exclusively to this, and not allow visitors to disturb it (the area usually looked better than the park itself). I remember creating a ride (sometimes a roller coaster) in front of the entrance, and then carefully blocking off the other areas around the entrance to the park so that visitors would be forced to go on that ride first. They would then get off the ride and into the park, at which point they would be trapped in it for eternity (or until we decided to let them go). Eventually the park would become dirty and miserable, with piles of garbage and vomit everywhere, visitors getting sick, and all that sort of thing, at which point I’d delete the ride and watch them run for dear life out of the park like a herd of mad gazelles. Good times.

  21. racccoon says: