We had nothing to go on when EA announced its intentions to port Bullfrog’s theme park simulation game, Theme Park, other than “Hey, a Theme Park game is happening.” As usual, the big ticket marketing machine over at the publisher covered up some of the holes at an event. Earlier this week, EA debuted the title at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, revealing that it’s a full re-make of the original game, complete with a new payment model, new look, new mechanics, and new rides involving EA franchises like Mass Effect and, somehow, even Dragon Age.

Digital Spy grabbed the first image we’ve seen on the Internet, and also had a few specific details. Take this one for example: not only will you be able to build your theme park with in-game money, but you’ll also be able to purchase more in-game money with real-life money. Also, the rides you build will apparently be interactive; the report cites being able to move around pirate ships or prod air-filled castles. I have a feeling the interaction will be strictly limited to basic animations, but hey, I guess we won’t know until we see a full build in some shape or form.

Speaking of builds, the game won’t see a final release until this holiday, but it’ll come with all that fancy Origin stuff we heard about earlier this year. Right now, it’s slated to hit a $0, which makes us think that the F2P stuff is going to roll a lot deeper than in-game currency.

[Via Digital Spy, @robfunnell7]

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry, every company that build IN APP PURCHASES into a Bullfrog game is unacceptable. Bullfrog is a legendary house and they butcher its titles with real money transactions like Farmville!? 

    • http://twitter.com/Projectwolfie Chris Overbee

      There's some great games that are free and have IAP, and it's perfectly acceptible.  Take Tiny Tower or Bug Heroes for example.

      • teme

        Tiny Tower disguised the game mechanics better than other games, but basically it was exactly the same as other IAP games like Farm Ville.

      • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

        Tiny Tower disguised YOUR game mechanics... HAH!

  • Jonf1979

    disappointed ... was looking forward to this and would happily have paid for a simple porting of the original.  IAP will completely ruin the mechanics of the game and turn it into nothing more than a farmville rip off

  • http://twitter.com/bkostjens Push Panic

    Awful news :( I loved Theme Park, but IAP currency will kill this game.

    • syipisa

      you bums want everything for free

      • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

        We don't want it for free.  We want to pay a price to purchase a game.  Who wants to play a game and be impeded by intentional time constraints that force you to purchase the in app game or wait excessive amounts of time?  

      • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

        I agree, we're willing to pay for quality games. Oh, and bums don't download apps.

  • Freefall Ninetails

    Many gamers now look at the listing of a game in the store, and if there is an inapp purchases link and they see 100 of x, 200 of x, 300 of x where x is energy, credits, bux, dollars, street cred, or whatever just skip the game - even though it might have interesting mechanics. Just be brave and proud and ask for a subscription instead of hoovering money out of my pockets. It's a black mark on the state of gaming in my opinion.

    It's a clear indication that the game is not made to have the most fun with, but to make the most money out of you by artifical limiting the experience. Where a subscription allows the same steady income without affecting the game experience. Just say no.

    • durp

      Sales numbers beg to differ.  Millions of people are hooked on the f2p micro-transaction modal  Just look in the list of apps with the most revenue.

      • Freefall Ninetails

        The fact that it sells well just proves my argument that "the game is not made to have the most fun with, but to make the most money out of you by artifical limiting the experience". I didn't say these games are not financially successful, because they are. 

        If the free2play games are so much fun to play, you'd expect to see a lot of sequels in the charts to build on previous success. In the top grossing list (which favour inapp free2play titles) there are no f2p sequels as opposed to 2-4 paid sequels.

        So it seems the only way to get people to play your f2p iap title is to make it appear like a new experience by reframing the theme, from restaurant to club to bakery - or from vampire to gangster to army.

        Is this because people get jaded from the f2p model?

      • Anonymous

        Right, but people wouldn't pay money to a game they didn't think was fun.

      • Freefall Ninetails

        The fact that it sells well just proves my argument that "the game is not made to have the most fun with, but to make the most money out of you by artifical limiting the experience". I didn't say these games are not financially successful, because they are. 

        If the free2play games are so much fun to play, you'd expect to see a lot of sequels in the charts to build on previous success. In the top grossing list (which favour inapp free2play titles) there are no f2p sequels as opposed to 2-4 paid sequels.

        So it seems the only way to get people to play your f2p iap title is to make it appear like a new experience by reframing the theme, from restaurant to club to bakery - or from vampire to gangster to army.

        Is this because people get jaded from the f2p model?

      • Freefall Ninetails

        The fact that it sells well just proves my argument that "the game is not made to have the most fun with, but to make the most money out of you by artifical limiting the experience". I didn't say these games are not financially successful, because they are. 

        If the free2play games are so much fun to play, you'd expect to see a lot of sequels in the charts to build on previous success. In the top grossing list (which favour inapp free2play titles) there are no f2p sequels as opposed to 2-4 paid sequels.

        So it seems the only way to get people to play your f2p iap title is to make it appear like a new experience by reframing the theme, from restaurant to club to bakery - or from vampire to gangster to army.

        Is this because people get jaded from the f2p model?

  • http://twitter.com/davere David

    How sad.  I own this game and I used to play it all the time.  I'd be more than happy to pay good money for it on the iPad.  But I refuse to deal with artificial limits in order to encourage me to purchase virtual currency.  

    I hope that they realize this and release something like "Theme Park Premium" or whatever they'd like to call it, charge for it, and let us play it as it was originally intended to be played.  It's such a good game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1712518726 Anonymous

    I am disappointed they are remaking one of my favorite games as a freemium title.

  • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

    Sad to see a good franchise end up like this. I thought EA were starting to get better than this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

      What made you think that? :P  Seriously cause I must have missed any indication of a better EA.

      • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

        I thought a lot of their IOS games seemed like they were being taken more seriously from Fifa 11 onwards really, I'm thinking of titles like dead space, fight night and a few others.
        To me this is a real step backwards and means I'll have to be much more wary of their titles in future.

  • Martin

    I am a bit disappointed now after seeing that picture. I hoped it would be more like the first Theme Park, and not the 3d-successors. They were too childish.

    • Carl

      They were not that bad having bought Theme Park 1 and I think 2. I loved Roller Coaster Tycoon though. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=63600072 Vatche Arabian

    As a huge fan of the original, I do think this is terrible. I'd rather have a spruced up port of the DS version than a new free to play version. This is a game I'd gladly pay 9.99-14.99 for if it were done correctly. Knowing EA we probably won't even get a iPad version. Or, it'll be like Sim City, take forever, and then finally be a buddy, bad UI release.

  • Wut

    Thanks for crediting me with this tip, TA! :)

    The only thing that has stopped me losing interest based on IAP is the potential dead space etc rides.

  • cube

    I would have much rather paid around £5 for a simple port of the original... This will unlikely be the game that I was hoping for :(

  • http://twitter.com/dbhjed David Howarth

    Bummer...

  • teme

    So disappointing. I would happily pay 5-10 dollars for remake of the original Theme Park. IAP will change the mechanics, and transform the game to another "wait or pay" game like Tiny Tower / Farm Ville / Smurf Village. IAP is destroying the whole building game scene, which I used to love so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OoOoOomonkey John Usher

    Pah what a load of crap. I was waiting for a port of the original not some ea freemium rubbish.
    Well looks like I'll pass on this one.

  • Korannin

    Too bad, I was really looking forward to playing the original game on my iPhone... This sucks :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P2B7I5HEQHKW4NKMDWOMRZCZAY Rae

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo. I'm so sad. I just want the original. I'd pay like 4 bucks for it. Too bad. I wont be downloading this crap.

  • Anonymous

    And the IAP will absolute ruin this game. I dont have to play it to know. Unless by some miracle EA have left it as 'Is your park failing and not making any money? Used up your in game loans? Never fear, buy some cash with real cash' sort of thing.

    But it wont be, we know that, it'll be the godfinger farmville model.

    Such a shame.

    Who owns the rights to Transport Tycoon Deluxe? Cant wait for that to be released with IAP. Another beloved game from my youth meddled with and crapped on.

  • Anonymous

    I would have rather have paid $4.99 and never see an iap. I was so looking forward to the first true theme park sim, especially after seeing that iap ridden abomination known as "Circus City".  There's also Happy Park, another theme park sim that had potential until once again, the iap prevented you from getting much further than 20 minutes into the game. Of course, you can wait overnight for crap to develop - but seriously, who really likes doing that? Maybe grade school kids who are on an allowance and love the idea of having a huge library of these freebies on their itouch.

  • Hmm

    Boo.

    The really insidious aspect of these pay-to-play and IAP-based games is that they are often purposely designed to take advantage of kids who have no real concept of money.

  • Anonymous

    ea, i am disappoint.

  • Lolwut

    !@#$%& !!!

    Actually I would gladly pay 5 bucks for a good port for this one....but IAP just kills it

  • Ecco6t9

    I think I'll track down the DS one then.

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  • Jontif

    I preferred Theme Park World, the sequal... loved the fact you could walk round the park first person and go on all the rides... now if they brought that out Id definately buy it!!

    • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

      I knew it as Sim Theme Park, but it was really awesome... I have been waiting so long for either the original roller coaster tycoons or theme park world (as until the iPad 2, there was no way RCT3 would have made it into iOS). Looking forward to some 3D theme park management game!!!

  • OMGLUV

    OMG UPDATE PLEASE

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  • Tony Greene

       I just started playing this game today and yes, it's expensive but there are ways of getting free tickets.  So for those who refuse to pay money for virtual items, no one is forcing you to.  Of course the game is setup to encourage less patient players to pay real money to "get to the fun faster" and it's obviously effective considering the increasing amount of Freemium titles.  
      So how is the business strategy any different from the makers of every electronic device out there?  If you are too impatient to wait for something, you're always going to pay more money.  I paid $600 for the original iPhone because I really wanted it and didn't want to wait till I could buy it off craigslist for under $100.  Anyways, I think I've made my point.

    If anyone wants to add me as a friend in Theme Park:

    USERNAME - tlgreene1021

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