View Full Version : RCTW - niche game for fans or casual one for "everyone"?

04-10-2015, 02:43 AM
Hi there!

I just registered to get my two cents in this debacle. As an avid RCT-fan over the years I was just as excited as you guys when these plans were announced last year. But I also know that big companies can mess up classic franchises beyond recognition, just because they´re misreading it's main appeal. Just look at what happened to SimCity and the poor sales of The Sims 4!

RCT for PC´s was a casual game, in the sense that everybody who tried it basiclly got hooked and played it every chance they got. In that way it was among the forerunners to Facebook-games like Farmville and others. It was fun, easy to learn and highly addictive. The following installments of the franschise opened up the game towards custom content, which started a mod-communty and reeled in a creative community that expanded the game beyond everybody's wildest dreams.

Judging from the trailer and the screenshots we've seen so far, Atari is still living in the beleif that it's still 2001 and that there's a huge audience of casual gamers waiting to sink their teeth into this game on their (rarely used beyond work/school) laptops.
BUT, RCT for PC isn't a "casual" franchise anymore, that market has basically been overtaken by the Android/iOS-platforms. If they want RCTW to sell, they need to niche it towards their core fans, IMO. That means recalculating the potential audience, set up the game towards moddability and creativity and, most of all, talk to the core audience. We're here, and on a lot of other forums.

If you want inspiration how this approach can work: Just use the Cities: Skylines campaign as a blueprint. A small team of fourteen (14) developers have released one of the best simgames in years, and it's selling tremendously well. One of the big reason for this is definitley their dialogue towards the city building fan community during development, and their wish to meet the fans' expectations. Their video blogs were awesome as well.

So far I haven't seen anything of this from Atari/Area52 in regards to RCTW, which leads me to expect that this game is totally miscalculated when it come to it's target audience.

Anyway, I'm still hoping. There aren't any real alternatives out there except for RCT3. NoLimits 2 is cool but limited (ironic, innit?)and Theme Park Studio is a mess, so here's hoping.

04-10-2015, 02:00 PM
Yes. 100% yes. The simulation game market hinges upon its core fans. Skylines is so successful because it got it right. Notice all the overlap from those who play that game and the RCT franchise? I'd venture to say most people play both types: theme park and city sims. You've just had an incredibly successful release of a sim game in an era when most thought that genre was dead. Atari and RCTW can continue the trend or make Skylines a blip on a bleak radar. Follow that business model and it'll be alright.

k1ng r4t
04-10-2015, 11:21 PM
It's like Minecraft. You can casually have fun with it, or you can become hardcore. It's not really one or the other. I have friends who bought it on Steam for $3. They love it, it's fun, they'll pick it up again in the future I'm sure, but they have no intention of finishing all scenarios or making a full sandbox park. Myself, on the other hand, spent almost 2 years working on the same park.

I am curious what you think is so messy about TPS though? I think it's a great game personally. The main complaints I see are the steep learning curve, the unclear interface (everything is there, it's just hard to tell) and how there's no park management, it's just building. Which TBH isn't that big of a deal for me since I just want to build. But I did like little aspects of micro-managing my park.

Future RCT
04-11-2015, 03:54 AM
My guess is that Theme Parkitect or Coaster Park Tycoon will be the Cities Skylines of the Theme Park Sim genre. I honestly doubt RCTW will be. If it ever comes out, it will probably be the SimCity of this genre, but at least that had decent graphics.

04-11-2015, 02:07 PM
I think they're attempting to take this down the weong route. Once I heard online functionalities, the first thing that popped into my head was, "this better not be a Facebook game." The reason the franchise is still around is because of people like John Wardley. For those of you who don't know him, he was one of the guys that got the game on the realistic track. He designed rollercoasters for real life projects. He is very famous and is the mastermind behind Nemesis. It was only a matter of time before people wanted to recreate real life rides, and couldn't do it with RCT's limitations, so thus CS was born!

04-11-2015, 03:38 PM
I kinda see RCT as both. Niche to fit into people who like either simulators/creation games, yet not so rigid like No Limits and TPS.