Chris Sawyer

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Chris Sawyer
Residence Dunblane, Scotland
Education Computer Science degree, Strathclyde University
Occupation Computer game developer
Known for Designing and programming, RollerCoaster Tycoon, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, Chris Sawyer's Locomotion, and Transport Tycoon.

Chris Sawyer is a Scottish computer game developer who is best known for designing and programming Transport Tycoon and the RollerCoaster Tycoon series.


Sawyer first entered the games industry in 1983, writing games in Z80 machine code on the Memotech MTX home computer, and then the Amstrad CPC series home computer. Some of these were published by Ariolasoft, Sepulcri Scelerati and Ziggurat. The former was a rare instance of a game being accepted by a publisher when it was already nearing completion.

From 1988 to 1993, Sawyer worked on DOS conversions of Amiga games and was involved in many projects, including Virus, Conqueror, Campaign, Birds of Prey, Dino Dini's Goal and Frontier: Elite II. He also contributed to the DOS version of Elite Plus.

Sawyer's first management simulation game, Transport Tycoon, was released by MicroProse in 1994 and became a classic of the tycoon series of games. A year later, he improved and extended the game, giving it the title Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Sawyer immediately sought to create a sequel. However, while still working on the basic game engine, Sawyer developed an interest in roller coasters, and changed the project into what would become RollerCoaster Tycoon, originally called White Knuckle before release.[1] After creating RollerCoaster Tycoon, he resumed work on the sequel for Transport Tycoon, but again postponed it to create RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. Upon completing that project, he resumed his work on the Transport Tycoon sequel, finally releasing it in 2004 as Chris Sawyer's Locomotion.[2]

Sawyer also served as a consultant for Atari in the development of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. In November 2005, Sawyer sued Atari, claiming that they had failed to pay him certain royalties.[3] Sawyer and Atari settled out of court for an undisclosed amount in February 2008.[4]

Sawyer wrote most of his games in x86 assembly language,[5] using only the services of freelance artist Simon Foster and musician Allister Brimble as needed.


The following is a list of video games Chris Sawyer has been credited for over the course of his career.

Name Year Publisher Notes
Virus 1988 Firebird Software Ltd.
Revenge of Defender 1989 Epyx, Inc.
Xenomorph 1990 Pandora
Conqueror 1990 Rainbow Arts Software GmbH
Elite Plus 1991 Microplay Software
Campaign 1992 Empire Software
Birds of Prey 1992 Electronic Arts, Inc.
Goal! 1993 Virgin Games, Ltd.
Frontier: Elite II 1993 GameTek, Inc., Konami, Inc.
Transport Tycoon 1994 MicroProse Software, Inc.
Dino Dini's Soccer 1994 Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Europe) Ltd.
Transport Tycoon World Editor 1995 MicroProse Software, Inc.
Transport Tycoon Deluxe 1995 MicroProse Software, Inc.
Frontier: First Encounters 1995 GameTek (FL), Inc.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 1999 Hasbro Interactive Ltd.
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Corkscrew Follies 1999 Hasbro Interactive Ltd.
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes 2000 Hasbro Interactive Ltd.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 2002 Infogrames Europe SA
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 2004 Atari, Inc. Consultant
Chris Sawyer's Locomotion 2004 Atari, Inc.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! 2005 Atari, Inc. Consultant
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild! 2005 Atari, Inc. Consultant
Transport Tycoon (iOS/Android) 2013 31X Ltd.

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