Frontier sues Atari for $2.2m over RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 royalties

Katharine Byrne
Frontier sues Atari for $2.2m over RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 royalties

Planet Coaster and Elite Dangerous creator Frontier Developments has confirmed that it's suing Atari over alleged lost royalties for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

According to TMZ, Frontier claims that Atari owes the studio $2.2m in royalties over its 2004 title, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

Frontier says it had been working with Atari on RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 since 2003, but amended its contract with the publisher when Atari went bankrupt four years ago in 2013.

Since then, sales data from an unnamed website has reportedly shown higher sales figures for the game than Frontier initially thought, leading the studio to believe it should have received $3.37m in royalties from Atari rather than the $1.17m it was paid at the time. With Atari now back in the black, Frontier is suing the publisher to claim back the remaining $2.2m.

Eurogamer has since confirmed the studio's legal action against Atari, with Frontier's chief operating officer David Walsh issuing the following statement:

"We can confirm Frontier is currently pursuing a complaint against Atari. 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."

This isn't the first time Frontier has locked horns with Atari over the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. In 2007, Atari claimed RollerCoaster Tycoon creator Chris Sawyer was in breach of contract by assisting Frontier to create an enhanced version of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. At the time, Frontier intended to licence the game to a third-party purchaser, so Atari sued for damages. The case was brought to a close by an out of court settlement.