After Atari revealed that RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 was being developed as an iOS-exclusive mobile title, I endeavoured to find out more about the game and who was making it. One important claim that Atari made to me on Monday was that the series’ creator and shepherd Chris Sawyer is “part of the production team” for this new installment. This morning I’ve heard back from someone who disputes that assertion: Chris Sawyer.
Sawyer is almost as famous now for his desire to stay out of the spotlight as he is for creating legendary PC business sims Transport Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon; when I interviewed him last year for Wired the entire exchange was done via a third party.
I managed to get a question in front of him yesterday, and here’s what Chris Sawyer sent back today. “I have no involvement with the creation of Atari’s newly announced RCT games.”
That’s pretty unequivocal. That makes RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 the first game in the series to be built with no input from Sawyer at all.
The new mobile version of Transport Tycoon that was released last year was made with a lot of involvement from Sawyer (according to the devs and Sawyer himself) and that game was notably traditionally priced with a single up-front cost and no consumable in-app purchases. Atari’s new RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 will have an up-front cost and consumable in-app purchases. One has to wonder if Chris Sawyer would have allowed that to happen if he’d had any oversight on the project.