Atari would no doubt have hoped for a better reaction when the studio revealed the first gameplay trailer for RollerCoaster Tycoon World earlier this month. With a graphics engine and gameplay that wouldn’t have looked out of place in 2004, the publisher bore the brunt of some fervent backlash from the game’s passionate community, leading the team to go out of their way to overhaul the middling visuals.
In a statement, Area 52 Games — which is handling development duties on this upcoming installment — outlined its plans to improve the overall look of the title, which will seemingly take into effect once the team transitions the groundwork over to the much more robust Unity 5 Engine. Here’s what the studio had to say on the controversy.
“We have heard you, and we concur; the trailer did not show the final game and the game everyone should expect from the RCT franchise. Regarding the current state of game graphics, we have been exploring prototypes for a while and are happy to announce we will be upgrading to the Unity 5 Engine. We hope to be able to share the results of the upgrade by this summer.
“We hope to take full advantage of the many new environmental, lighting, and shadow improvements as well as many other features in our original Unity 4.6-based engine to create a game that looks great. Our early results are extremely promising. We know that today these words must ring hollow, but trust that we are doing everything we can to make the game look excellent.”
Further in the post, Area 52 confirmed that it will strive to make environments more realistic and detailed, and ultimately steer the upcoming sequel back on track. Mind you, that’s certainly a feat that will rest on the shoulders the new, revamped gameplay trailer, which is expected to make its way online during the summer.
Can RollerCoaster Tycoon World truly reinvigorate the long-running strategy series? Time will tell.