Platforms: Online Browser Game (multi-platform)
Release Date: 2003
Genre(s): Business Simulation, Television Production Studio Simulation
Get it: Non-Playable version via Web Archive
Our Score
GD Star Rating

SimTV was a web-based browser game unlike any other in the television simulation genre.  Developed and available online at, the game is unfortunately no longer available online.  A non-playable version of the game can be viewed via the internet wayback machine, which has a cached version of the site in its archive.  This does help to give you a feel for how the game operated, but certainly also imparts a sense of frustration at not being able to play this groundbreaking game any longer.

The game is relatively speaking, quite simple.  It is also limited in its scope.  However, it was neither boring nor limited in features.

Via the website users would pitch their show ideas.  In the game users took the role of a television producer and television production studio and would produce the shows, rather than manage the network that airs them.  A users pitch would either be accepted or rejected by several cable and broadcast networks.

When producing the pilot, users would have control over everything from location to costume designers from a simple drop-down menu.  The roles could be cast from a list of talents, and the pilot would then be shot.  The network would then give it a timeslot and your series would premiere.

Each episode would then be produced, with the ability to select everything from the plot (in a simple text box) through to casting guest stars, writers, selecting various plot ‘gimmicks’ to attract ratings (especially important for ‘sweeps’ episodes), and arrange advertising for your series.

Last weeks ratings would be displayed in the left hand column, as simply ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘ok’, or ‘bad’.  While perhaps not the most accurate of ratings system, this did allow the ratings system to traverse ratings differentials between each network, not to mention broadcast and cable networks and the various demographics.  Also, the phrase format was ultimately easier for users to comprehend than a numeric ratings system.

SimTV was really an innovative and groundbreaking game in the television simulation genre, taking a new focus on television production.  It is such a shame the game is no longer available.


In Summary

Thumbs up THE GOOD:

  • New approach puts you in the shoes of a television producer.
  • Available online – from any computer with internet connection and basic web browser.
  • Could produce multiple series simultaneously, including spin-offs.
  • Complete control over each episode
Thumbs up THE BAD:

  • No Longer Available.
  • Never progressed out of beta.

SimTV, 5.7 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
Posted by tvtycoon | 17 May 2011 | Reviews


  1. Rocklobstah
    16 Aug 2011, 6:13 pm

    I’m so frustrated that I haven’t found out about this game sooner. I’ve always wanted to play a game in the television simulation genre… is there anything similar out there?

    • Rocklobstah
      16 Aug 2011, 6:18 pm

      I think I wasn’t clear enough in my previous message. I meant a game regarding tv shows, not managing a tv station in general.

  2. tvtycoon
    18 Aug 2011, 12:25 pm

    Unfortunately not one I’ve ever come across. There is a new facebook game called ‘TV Studio Boss’ i’ve been reading about but haven’t tried out, not sure how much control over the making of the shows you get, though. That and a few other games still have to be added to this site, but all that i’m aware of focus on the tv network, rater than tv show aspect. I’d be interested in developing one, but have unfortunately no real programming ability.

  3. Rocklobstah
    18 Aug 2011, 3:34 pm

    That’s too bad because it seems a great concept to me. The whole idea of pitching a pilot to a network, and then trying to stay on air would seem like a lot of fun to any Tycoon games player, especially those interested in tv sims. I don’t get why small game companies release Garbage Truck and Bus simulators and weird stuff like that every year or so. How many games like that do we really need? What happened to those amazing tycoon games we had in the 90s?

    Anyway, looking forward to your next update! I really need something to kill my boredom! (MAD-TV is great, but it crashes often with DOSbox, and the online edition limits you to 5 turns a day after you’ve played for a while)

  4. Marcus
    16 Apr 2014, 6:39 pm

    Here is a TV sim game that is being started up here It was started a year or two ago then went defunct for a while, now the admin is restarting it for good. Here are the features:
    1. Most realistic television industry simulation game you will ever play!
    2. Choose to be a Network CEO (only 4 available), Production Company, a Creative Company, or a Critic / Journalist.
    3. Create series (animated, sitcoms, dramas), variety, game, reality, late-night and talk shows and even miniseries and made for TV movies.
    4. Develop your show from scratch. Pitch your idea to a Network, choose your cast, set a production budget, shoot the pilot and wait for the Network to place a series order. Then negotiate with the Network how many episodes will be produced and how much the fee per episode will be.
    5. Huge talent database including: 2,800+ actors/actresses, 1000+ producers, 400+ directors, 500+ writers, 60+ hosts, 50+ judges (for reality shows) and even musical guests to choose from.

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