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View Full Version : The Devlopment Team Change Mystery - Explanation



rhcoaster
02-05-2015, 11:46 PM
Note: this is a long post. :rolleyes:


Many people have been confused and were wondering why Atari had to switch from Pipeworks to Area 52 games on December 12, 2014. Many people blame Atari for this change and some are worried about the current development. After a long deep search on the internet, I think I have found out what happened.


Let's start with Pipeworks. They are a software development company who develop video games like Zumba and Godzilla. While it looks on their website they are an independent developer but they were actually owned by Foundation 9 Entertainment, a company who owned many video game studios.


F9E was started in 2005 with owning three video game developers, Backbone Entertainment, The Collective, and of course Pipeworks. Over time F9E was doing well and continued to buy more game studios until they ran economic trouble. Soon after 2008, many of these studios were sold off, spun off, or totally shut down. After 6 years of hardship from 2008 - 2014, the inevitable had happened. F9E only owned three studios, Pipeworks, Sumo Digital, and Double Helix.


Double Helix was sold to Amazon in Feb 2014. F9E was basically done for but Pipeworks was still developing RCTW. It would save F9E, right?


Unfortunately, F9E couldn't wait for the RCTW release and had no choice but to sell Pipeworks and Sumo Digital in September 2014. This is where the big trouble happens for us.


On September 12, 2014, Pipeworks was bought out by Digital Bros. You all say, great, so why Pipeworks stopped working on RCTW? Because Digital Bros is a so called Digital Entertainment Company. They publish their own games. Digital Bros. wants Pipeworks to work and development on Digital Bros. games, NOT ATARI/F9E games.


Thus at this point, Atari is like CRAP and starts to scramble to find a new studio. Atari probably tried to work with Digital Bros. but obviously it didn't work out. Atari then had to hire Area 52 Games at the last moment to take over RCTW.




It's very unfortunate how this turned out for Atari and Pipeworks. The relationship between them would have continued if F9E didn't go bankrupt.




Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_9_Entertainment
http://www.digital-bros.net/en/pressroom/comunicati/20141113-PRDigitalBros-TheBoDapprovesthefirstquarterlyreportat30September _(encrypted).pdf

king_austin95
02-06-2015, 12:28 AM
Note: this is a long post. :rolleyes:


Many people have been confused and were wondering why Atari had to switch from Pipeworks to Area 52 games on December 12, 2014. Many people blame Atari for this change and some are worried about the current development. After a long deep search on the internet, I think I have found out what happened.


Let's start with Pipeworks. They are a software development company who develop video games like Zumba and Godzilla. While it looks on their website they are an independent developer but they were actually owned by Foundation 9 Entertainment, a company who owned many video game studios.


F9E was started in 2005 with owning three video game developers, Backbone Entertainment, The Collective, and of course Pipeworks. Over time F9E was doing well and continued to buy more game studios until they ran economic trouble. Soon after 2008, many of these studios were sold off, spun off, or totally shut down. After 6 years of hardship from 2008 - 2014, the inevitable had happened. F9E only owned three studios, Pipeworks, Sumo Digital, and Double Helix.


Double Helix was sold to Amazon in Feb 2014. F9E was basically done for but Pipeworks was still developing RCTW. It would save F9E, right?


Unfortunately, F9E couldn't wait for the RCTW release and had no choice but to sell Pipeworks and Sumo Digital in September 2014. This is where the big trouble happens for us.


On September 12, 2014, Pipeworks was bought out by Digital Bros. You all say, great, so why Pipeworks stopped working on RCTW? Because Digital Bros is a so called Digital Entertainment Company. They publish their own games. Digital Bros. wants Pipeworks to work and development on Digital Bros. games, NOT ATARI/F9E games.


Thus at this point, Atari is like CRAP and starts to scramble to find a new studio. Atari probably tried to work with Digital Bros. but obviously it didn't work out. Atari then had to hire Area 52 Games at the last moment to take over RCTW.




It's very unfortunate how this turned out for Atari and Pipeworks. The relationship between them would have continued if F9E didn't go bankrupt.




Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_9_Entertainment
http://www.digital-bros.net/en/pressroom/comunicati/20141113-PRDigitalBros-TheBoDapprovesthefirstquarterlyreportat30September _(encrypted).pdf

makes a lot of since

RedBlueLaw
02-06-2015, 12:37 AM
I just hope Atari didn't turn to A52 out of desperation...

king_austin95
02-06-2015, 12:40 AM
I just hope Atari didn't turn to A52 out of desperation...

yeah, same here. but you gotta do what you gotta do

RedBlueLaw
02-06-2015, 12:43 AM
yeah, same here. but you gotta do what you gotta do

True. However, if was Atari, I'd have waited and shopped around for their 'first choice' dev team.

But hey, maybe they wanted A52 all along! Haha

Taizen
02-06-2015, 01:18 AM
This does make sense. I'm glad there is a little closure on this situation. Thanks!

king_austin95
02-06-2015, 01:19 AM
True. However, if was Atari, I'd have waited and shopped around for their 'first choice' dev team.

But hey, maybe they wanted A52 all along! Haha

maybe, lol

AUS_Twisted
02-06-2015, 01:28 AM
rhcoaster, do you have anymore screenshots by chance? :)

coaster6
02-06-2015, 07:44 AM
Thanks for clarifying this. Of im correct, I believe Atari told us they did this because Area 52 had done some online games and this was supposed to be the second stage. I'm glad you clarified this!

ExtraCheese
02-06-2015, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the explanation! It would however been better if Atari / area 52 came out with this info. Everybody would have understood, instead of this fog surrounding the sudden change of developers.

Wabigbear
02-06-2015, 01:59 PM
Not doubting but that it did happen that way, but you'd think there would be a contract between Atari and Pipeworks for the work on the game, and contracts usually don't just get tossed out when one of the parties is bought by someone else.

Perhaps there is still more to the story?

intoxination
02-07-2015, 11:15 AM
Not doubting but that it did happen that way, but you'd think there would be a contract between Atari and Pipeworks for the work on the game, and contracts usually don't just get tossed out when one of the parties is bought by someone else.

Perhaps there is still more to the story?

Usually they do include some sort of exit clause though, so there's a chance that Pipeworks invoked that, especially if they had bigger plans they figured would give a better ROI than working on the current project(s).

Wabigbear
02-07-2015, 02:39 PM
Usually they do include some sort of exit clause though, so there's a chance that Pipeworks invoked that, especially if they had bigger plans they figured would give a better ROI than working on the current project(s).

Makes sense.

EmSay
02-07-2015, 02:59 PM
wow, thanks for the new.

Deuce
04-07-2015, 08:59 PM
This makes sense of why they had to find a new developer, but doesn't help me understand why it was area52 they chose??

Sure desperate times call for desperate measures but Atari are still calling this a 'AAA' title... And Area52 are so obviously not equipped to deliver a 'AAA' title that it seems pointless to hire them in the first place.

Common sense still leads me to believe that at least at the time, Atari decided to choose a very cheap developer to priduce a substandard cash-in which would hopefully sell simply of the back of RCT former glories. Then the gameplay trailer revealed that actually people really wouldn't buy it if its crap, so now Atari are trying to work out if they can (or if it's worth it) pay a proper dev team to make a proper game.

ExtraCheese
04-08-2015, 03:51 AM
This makes sense of why they had to find a new developer, but doesn't help me understand why it was area52 they chose??

Sure desperate times call for desperate measures but Atari are still calling this a 'AAA' title... And Area52 are so obviously not equipped to deliver a 'AAA' title that it seems pointless to hire them in the first place.

Common sense still leads me to believe that at least at the time, Atari decided to choose a very cheap developer to priduce a substandard cash-in which would hopefully sell simply of the back of RCT former glories. Then the gameplay trailer revealed that actually people really wouldn't buy it if its crap, so now Atari are trying to work out if they can (or if it's worth it) pay a proper dev team to make a proper game.

Yes, that's exactly my thought too. My worst fears are beginning to come true that Atari ****s this up big time, and the glorious Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise will be broken down due to poor development and marketing.
I have a lot more faith in Frontier with Coaster Park Tycoon, seeing their excellent Zoo Tycoon game with CURVED PATHS and WONDERFUL GRAPHICS.

k1ng r4t
04-08-2015, 04:09 AM
Now while Zoo Tycoon may look nice, from what I read it's pretty poorly designed otherwise. Not saying this proves anything, but it is worth noting. Granted for whatever reasons sim games are harder to do on consoles so it's hard to say if that was a factor, but it's still too early to tell much of anything there.

DMB1985
04-08-2015, 01:51 PM
I've not played the Xbox Zoo Tycoon but from what I've read it's very basic but also quite good fun albeit nothing special. It's fair to say though that that was probably part of the specifications that Frontier were given as Zoo Tycoon has always been a very simplistic franchise given that it's mainly aimed at a younger audience. Hopefully they won't take that approach with Coaster Park Tycoon.

AzothStorm
04-08-2015, 02:50 PM
Honestly After frontiers recent steam add of Elite:dangerous I dont have high hopes yea it was a kickstarter but they released the game and it still needs alot of add-ons unless you just like exploring space(its a sim i know). Its just Dont want a coaster game where its half way done and then they release it for 60.00 but theres no campaign and barely any free mode but well see next year.

RCTW1
04-08-2015, 04:05 PM
But I think that Frontier also understands the RCT crowd for the most part. That may be partially be why Zoo Tycoon is more of a console game.

MR.sugar
04-08-2015, 04:48 PM
I think it's Atari who did it. They are not willing to speak about it seems, so I bet it's Atari who did it and that they didn't part the ways in a good way.

OTR24
04-09-2015, 01:36 AM
I just hope they listened to your guys complaints and threw that horrible pre alpha puke out the window and restarted.

jip24
04-09-2015, 02:35 PM
This thread does make a fair bit of sense - sadly so many games end up in turmoil thanks to the constant M&A developers seem to get caught up in nowadays. It's a shame, but whatever the specifics, it seems obvious that RCTW is really struggling.

In terms of CPT, Frontier have some huge advantages: they presumably have much of the source code for RCT3 kicking around somewhere still, and it looks like they already have both a reasonable engine and coaster designer from the likes of zoo tycoon and screamride. They also have quite a big team working on it, many of whom have a strong history in making theme park games. If Atari really only have what was seen in the trailer, I really can't see how they can compete, the IP for RCT really isn't strong enough to stand on it's own any more, especially after RCT4M and the RCTW trailer. It's a shame - they'd probably be better to just sell the name to Frontier, but I'm not sure Frontier would even bother to buy it now. They'll just put "from the makers of RCT3" on the box of CPT.

I've been flicking back to this forum every now and again, but I've lost interest now. All the best to Atari - if they can turn it around, and we get two decent coaster tycoon games next year, then that'd be awesome, but I can't really see it happening. It must now be getting towards the point of not being economically viable, given the issues with development so far, and the emerging competition (CPT and Parkitect, plus NL2 and TPS)...).

RCTW1
04-11-2015, 03:54 PM
I'm happy with many of the European publishers and developers, such as Frontier and Collosal Order. They seem like they know what they're doing.

RandomMrBrick
04-11-2015, 05:48 PM
I'm happy with many of the European publishers and developers, such as Frontier and Collosal Order. They seem like they know what they're doing.

But it's just a shame that Atari and Area 52 go together like cheese and ice cream.