Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 will do Steam Early Access – once it’s done being a mobile game

Rollercoaster Tycoon

A game named Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 popped up on mobile devices yesterday. And a “completely different” PC game is in the works.

You wouldn’t necessarily know that last bit – Atari have engaged in (possibly ill-advised) radio silence on the PC version, presumably to give the phone game a bit of breathing room. But it’ll be coming out on Steam Early Access under a different, mystery studio working with Chris Sawyer.

“We have the PC game in development and we’re going to reengage with the community in the next few months,” said Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais.

Chesnais was part of an older, very different Atari when Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 was released – and returned to the struggling company in January 2013 to find a new version in the works.

“When I arrived it was a mobile game,” he told NowGamer, “so we kept working on the mobile game – but the point is not the mobile game, the point is that we have a PC game in production.”

Chesnais knew it was “very important” to have a PC version – but acknowledges it’s a “much, much, much bigger project”.

Hence Steam Early Access. Atari began with the “easier to manage” mobile game, and will use feedback from that and Steam to “deliver a bigger experience” on PC.

“It takes time to make a good PC game and we wanted to engage the community,” he said. “We know we’re working on that PC game, and what people are saying I feel is more ‘why aren’t you engaging right now on the PC side?’”

Potentially unsavoury elements of the mobile game, like the unique items you can access by recommending it to friends, are very much still up for discussion.

“If people say, ‘You know what, we want something else’, okay, we’ll do something else,” said Chesnais. “We’re flexible.”

Good! Good? Hmm. It’s sort of hard to tell at this stage, isn’t it?