The creature wearing the skin of Atari has announced astonishing plans to launch RollerCoaster Tycoon World [official site] next Wednesday, November 16th. It's been on Steam early Access for seven months. The surprising part is: Frontier's theme park sim Planet Coaster comes out the very next day, Thursday the 17th. Given that Planet Coaster looks the better game by far, it's a bit silly. Perhaps the eyeholes on the creature's skinsuit have slipped and it's stumbling blind, groping in the dark, accidentally typing up announcements. We've all been there.
It is such a curious decision. While the announcement talks about a big patch coming at launch, from player reviews it sounds like the game needs more than just a patch. The announcement talking about more improvements and optimisations following after launch sounds like an admission that it won't be its best self when it is declared 'released'. That's what early access is for, you sillies.
In contrast, here's something Adam said in August about the beta version of Planet Coaster he'd played:
"A lack of log flumes at release aside, Planet Coaster looks to be doing everything I’d want a theme park management game to do, and to be doing it all extremely well."
I'm reminded of The Asylum releasing its mockbusters right alongside the blockbusters they're spoofing, hoping to ride the publicity wave of better movies. Is the creature wearing the skin of Atari cutting its losses? RCTW has already been through several developers, so they must be getting sick of it. Or does the creature think RCTW can go toe-to-toe with Planet Coaster? Is the creature hoping people ignorant of Planet Coaster will buy this?
Well! We'll find out next week. RollerCoaster Tycoon World is priced at £29.99/45,99€/$49.99 and Planet Coaster... will cost the same - or cheaper, in some countries. Baffling.