The History of RollerCoaster Tycoon

The History of RollerCoaster Tycoon
Michael French

By Michael French

March 26th 2008 at 3:20PM

Second in our new series of IP profiles reveals behind-the-scenes machinations, origins, and success secrets of a Brit classic

In the second of our 'Great British Games' IP profiles we're looking at the rise of RollerCoaster Tycoon, a UK-made games property which has defied expectations and the industry's convetional wisdom to sell over nine million copies around the world.

Our profile charts the series' history from its humble inception on one-man-development by Chris Sawyer, through its sequels produced at Frontier, and then up to the recent court settlement between Taylor and publisher Atari.

Comments author Nick Gibson: "RollerCoaster Tycoon is arguably the most improbable success story involving UK games IP in that it defied both established development and publishing practices but also the perceived industry wisdom at the time about how triple-A titles are created.

"As a one-man development project, the original title took an inordinately long time to reach the market, featured extremely simplistic graphics at a time when high quality graphics were considered a necessity for PC sales success, and was based around a subject that had never been explored as the sole gameplay focus of any previous game. It would probably have been seen as being a marketing department’s nightmare prior to its release."

To read the full profile, click here.