After two long years with chains on the gates, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is preparing a grand re-opening. The rides might be a little rusty, the parks neglected, but Frontier are tidying things up with a Complete Edition of the classic theme park ’em up – packing in both expansion packs with a fresh coat of paint when tickets go back on sale this September 24th.
Sure, there are newer, slicker Frontier vacation sims (in both Coaster and Zoo flavours) to get in line for these days. But following some legal nonsense, one their best has been closed for over two years.
See, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has actually been impossible to purchase on Steam and GOG since May 2018, following licensing disputes between Frontier and the game’s publishers Atari. Frontier had just taken the publishers to court over unpaid royalties for the game, and while the delisting was never officially linked to the case, a GOG statement at the time implied as such – noting that “due to expiring licensing rights, we were asked to remove the product from our catalog for the time being. We’ll be in talks with new distribution rights holders to hopefully bring the game back as soon as possible.”
Obviously, the game wouldn’t return to shelves ASAP. Instead, we’re getting a Complete Edition two years later – one that includes both the Soaked! (waterparks) and Wild! (animals) expansions, encompassing over 500 scenery pieces, 300 rides, 20 animals, and 9 themes in all. It’s also been brought a little more up to date with 1080p resolution support, and improved compatibility on modern hardware. It is still an extremely 2004-lookin’ game, but at least it’s been sharpened up a touch.
It does, unfortunately, look like existing RCT3 owners won’t get any priority access to these spruced-up looks. They’ll just have to get in line with the rest of us when Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition launches on Steam and the Epic Games Store on September 26th.