Railroad Tycoon (lost builds of cancelled Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive ports of PC business simulation game; 1993)

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Railroad Tycoon cover art.

Status: Lost

Railroad Tycoon (also known as Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon) is a rail business simulation game. Released on various PC systems including MS-DOS and the Amiga in 1990, it is known that Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Sega Mega Drive ports were in development before they were cancelled for unknown reasons.


Railroad Tycoon is a business simulation game that tasks the player to operate a railroad company, including by building tracks and stations, and opening and scheduling routes in order to beat out rival railroad companies attempting hostile takeovers against them.[1] Designed by Sid Meier, and developed and published by MicroPose, the game was released on the PC in 1990 and has since spawned multiple sequels.[1]

With the game's success on PC systems, MicroPose were interested in porting the game to home consoles.[2][3] The April and June 1991 editions of Nintendo Power claimed Railroad Tycoon was possibly considered for a Super Famicom release alongside other MicroPose projects like F-15 Strike Eagle during the Winter International 1991 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[4][5][2] Almost a year later, Railroad Tycoon was showcased at the Winter International 1992 CES, and although an SNES port was not showcased, it was confirmed by the April 1992 of Gamepro that the port was announced at the event with an intended release of October 1992.[6][2] By January 1993, it was reported by Nintendo Power that the port was nearing completion, with the March 1993 issue previewing the game and providing a few screenshots of it.[7][8][2]

Meanwhile, the March 1992 edition of MegaTech reported that a Sega Mega Drive port was also in development, although the screenshots provided were from the Amiga version.[3] In the September and October 1993 issues of Nintendo Power, it was reported that the SNES port was to be released sometime in the Fall that year.[2] However, these proved to be the final known mentions of the SNES version, with it seemingly being cancelled alongside the Mega Drive port.[2]


Ultimately, while it has been confirmed that both the SNES and Mega Drive ports were in development,[2][3] no builds have publicly resurfaced. The only known screenshots of the SNES game were provided within the January 1993 edition of Nintendo Power,[7] with none currently being publicly available for the Mega Drive counterpart.