Retro and modern video games studio Ziggurat Interactive recently announced it has partnered with Abylight Studios to reboot the Prison Tycoon series, and that development is currently underway on Prison Tycoon: Under New Management. This new chapter for the series is currently scheduled for a 2021 release on PC and consoles.
The original Prison Tycoon was published in 2005 by shovelware publisher ValuSoft, and developed by Virtual Playground. It has had four sequels published – Maximum Security, Lockdown, SuperMax, and Alcatraz – with none of them scoring above mediocre review ratings. Lockdown, SuperMax, and Alcatraz are still on Steam, if you’re interested.
As the name implies, the Prison Tycoon series is a business sim where you manage the daily operations of a prison, with the objective of turning a low-security prison into a maximum-security one. The series gave you control over a choice of fictional and real-life prisons and challenged you with maintaining the prisoners and staff, while also creating a profit.
Abylight and Ziggurat state that the next Under New Management chapter “will focus on the challenges of rehabilitating and reintegrating inmates back into healthy, functioning members of society.” With profit-making seemingly no longer the primary focus, you’ll instead be challenged with creating and running a successful prison as its warden. You’ll be tasked with providing suitable services for the inmate population in balance with the security necessary to keep them in place.
“We are thrilled to be working with Abylight Studios on a transcendent reimagining of the Prison Tycoon franchise,” says Wade Rosen, President of Ziggurat Interactive. “Under New Management is our opportunity to reboot the franchise with a modern mindset and positive outlook.”
You’ll have access to numerous security items to employ, including the expected “security checkpoints, guard towers, prison cells,” and the prison staff for each. The announcement mentions “inmate services,” presumably the ones you’ll need to institute in order to help the prisoners rehabilitate and reintegrate, but it doesn’t say what any of those services are. As the warden, you’ll need to secure funding from state agencies, acquire resources, and provide the proper care for your inmates and staff to make for an efficiently-run facility.
It’ll be interesting to see if and how well Under New Management is received, considering the series’ history, and especially with the current real-life private for-profit prison system finally being brought to an end by presidential executive order in the United States. If you’re interested in keeping tabs on Prison Tycoon: Under New Management, tune into the Twitter channels for Abylight Studios and Ziggurat Interactive.
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