Frontier Sues Atari for Unpaid RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Royalties

Frontier alleges Atari sold more copies of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 than it reported.


Frontier Developments, the studio behind RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and more recently Planet Coaster, is leveling legal action against Atari in a dispute over back royalties. Frontier alleges that RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 sold more copies than Atari reported to the studio. Frontier asserts that it's owed more money for the core RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 game and the two expansions, Soaked! and Wild!, it created.

Frontier cites a website that showed higher sales figures for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 than Atari reported. Which website was not explicitly stated, but Frontier claims that their calculations show that accounting for the higher sales figure, the studio should have been paid $3.37 million in royalties instead of the $1.17 million they received.

When Frontier asked for an audit of the RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 sales report, Atari denied access to records. Frontier Chief Operating Office David Walsh gave the following statement about the situation to GameSpot:

"We can confirm Frontier is currently pursuing a complaint against Atari," said Walsh. "We have attempted to resolve this issue without legal action since April 2016. We have so far been denied our contractual right to audit by Atari, and we are unfortunately left with no other way to resolve our concerns. We are unable to offer any further comment while the matter is subject to due legal process."

Atari has had financial problems in the past. In 2013 Atari filed for bankruptcy, but a last minute injection of $2 million in funds saved the company from failure. It recently launched RollerCoaster Tycoon World on Steam Early Access to mostly negative reviews.

Frontier Developments, on the other hand, is a rising star in PC gaming. Its recently released title Planet Coaster is being received with critical acclaim and is touted as the spiritual successor to the RollerCoaster Tycoon series.

Whether Frontier is owed more money by Atari is yet to be seen. We'll bring you more details as they become available.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 3, 2017 8:16 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Frontier Sues Atari for Unpaid RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Royalties

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      January 3, 2017 8:22 AM

      Wonder if they would settle for ip ownership? I doubt Atari even has 2 million in cash.

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        January 3, 2017 8:42 AM

        what value is there in the name? Planet Coaster seems to be doing fine, and I'd suggest the RCT name isn't worth what it used to be. see SimCity

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          January 3, 2017 8:53 AM

          The only time they've made news I've heard recently was suing Llamasoft to cease production of TxK VR.

          Which pissed me off and guaranteed I never buy anything carrying their name.

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            January 3, 2017 9:22 AM

            oh that's lame. i bought a vita a couple of weeks ago so i'll be sure to pick up txk

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              January 3, 2017 9:25 AM

              You should! It's literally why I have one.

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      January 3, 2017 9:41 AM

      That's really bad that Atari is refusing the audit when they are contractually obligated to do it upon request. When I was doing distribution this was in every single contract. There's no legal leg for Atari to stand on here. Not sure what they expect to gain out of now allowing this.

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      January 3, 2017 12:13 PM

      Didn't Chris sawyer sue Atari a while ago for rct1/2 royalties? wtf

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      January 3, 2017 12:14 PM

      I think Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 was really good. While it lost the readable charm of the first two, everything else seemed to be preserved in the switch to 3D.

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      January 3, 2017 12:57 PM

      No mention of Elite: Dangerous in that "rising star in PC gaming" section? O_o

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