While you can get many iterations of RollerCoaster Tycoon these days, one that you can’t buy any more is RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.
The game was pulled from Steam and GOG on Tuesday Australian time. There was no announcement or fanfare around the game’s removal, although a statement given to Kotaku Australia provided some context.
“Due to expiring licensing rights, we were asked to remove the product from our catalog for the time being,” GOG said over email. “We’ll be in talks with new distribution rights holders to hopefully bring the game back as soon as possible.” A representative from Frontier Developments couldn’t offer any more detail, although they likely had a very good reason: a lawsuit.
TMZ reported that Frontier has filed a lawsuit against Atari, alleging that the publisher was shortchanging them owed royalties:
In April, Frontier started to believe it was getting ripped off, claiming another website showed higher sales figures.
Frontier says the site calculated Frontier should’ve received $US3.37 million in royalties from Atari when they only got $US1.17 mill. According to Frontier, Atari then delayed when it was asked for an audit of their sales report.
The timing is messy too. Atari is gearing up to launch the crowdfunding campaign for the Atari VCS, their Linux and AMD-powered console with support for modern and retro games. That campaign was due to kick off at the end of the month.
Amidst all this, Frontier’s iOS re-release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is still available in Australia and elsewhere. That version of RCT 3 was released by Frontier, whereas the PC and Mac versions of RCT 3 were published by Atari.