Theme Park to get a freemium iOS makeover later this year

Games like Happy Theme Park and Beeline’s upcoming Dream Park might be the first big amusement park simulations on the App Store, but EA has a surprise in store for later this year that has the potential to blow them all away. EA Mobile is resurrecting the granddaddy of all park management games, Theme Park, for iOS later this year – and it’s going freemium.

Originally developed by Peter Molyneux’s Bullfrog Productions back in 1994, Theme Park was the first real video game to let players design and maintain their own… well, theme park. It served as the predecessor to games like Roller Coaster Tycoon, but had a slightly sillier tone – something that Bullfrog’s games became known for.

The iOS version, expected to hit the App Store later this year, is reportedly a highly tweaked remake of the PC original. On the surface the visuals appear to have received a pretty hefty overhaul from the pixelated visuals of 1994 – but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a slew of modern features that will go along with that fresh coat of paint. Players can expect interactive rides in the form of mini-games, attractions based on other big EA properties like Mass Effect, Dead Space, and Dragon Age, and support for EA’s upcoming social network, Origin.

Theme Park

The game will also be taking advantage of a freemium business model, allowing players to purchase additional in-game cash with real world dollars.

With seemingly so much under the hood, it looks like EA is preparing to make a big splash in the world of freemium gaming. Getting this much game together is going to take a bit of time though – don’t expect to see Theme Park hit the App Store until the holiday season.