Big Pharma announced, is a pharmaceutical management sim

Management sims are a great platform for parody and satire, and few industries are more deserving a target than the pharmaceutical industry. As such, the recently announced Big Pharma could be just what the doctor ordered. It takes a Transport Tycoon influenced look at drug corporations—asking you to research, manufacture and market your miracle cures.

"Buy ingredients, process and combine them in meticulously designed production lines," explains Tim Wicksteed , the game's creator, "convert them into finished pills, creams, syringes and more, and finally sell them for a profit.

"Spend your hard earned cash to research new machines and technology that will improve the efficiency of your production lines. Up your expedition spending to discover new ingredients containing new active compounds and combine them to create higher value, even fancier medicine."

For me, the most interesting part is the way the game aims to depict the more controversial aspects of the industry. You'll be competing against other corporations, and so will need patents to protect the formulas that you're selling. Then there's the fact that important cures aren't necessarily the most profitable. "Cures that pander towards the whims of western countries will normally be able to sustain higher prices while the vaccine that is urgently needed by millions of people in developing nations won't sell for more than a few pennies each."

Big Pharma is due out early 2015.


Phil has been PC gaming since the '90s, when RPGs had dice rolls and open world adventures were weird and French. Now he's the deputy editor of PC Gamer; commissioning features, filling magazine pages, and knowing where the apostrophe goes in '90s. He plays Scout in TF2, and isn't even ashamed.
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