Planet Zoo - Simulation Runs Wild

The next management simulation game from Frontier Developments has eventually been officially announced: Planet Zoo, rumoured to have been in the works for some time already, will see the light of day in “Fall 2019”* - so September/October-ish.

Here’s the announcement trailer:

Anyone who has played either of Frontiers’ previous two sim management games - Jurassic World: Evolution and Planet Coaster - will instantly recognize the aesthetic and some of the game mechanics. Frontier, who also developed 2013s somewhat mediocre Zoo Tycoon game for Microsoft XBox, are again using their in-house Cobra Game Engine and much of the team that worked on Planet Coaster for the new game, so similarities are bound to occur. Even the Planet Zoo logo looks similar to its Coaster cousin.

Under the tagline “Simulation Runs Wild”, the official blurb for Planet Zoo looks to highlight both the simulation accuracy of the animals and the management and creativity aspects of the game:

Meet a world of incredible animals. From playful lion cubs to mighty elephants, every animal in Planet Zoo is a thinking, feeling individual with a distinctive look and personality of their own. Craft detailed habitats to bring your animals’ natural environments home, research and manage each species to allow them to thrive, and help your animals raise families to pass their genes onto future generations.

Manage an amazing living world that responds to every decision you make. Focus on the big picture or go hands-on and control the smallest details. Thrill visitors with iconic exhibits, develop your zoo with new research, and release new generations of your animals back into the wild. Your choices come alive in a world where animal welfare and conservation comes first.

Planet Zoo’s powerful piece-by-piece construction tools let you effortlessly make your zoo unique. Every creative decision you make impacts the lives of your animals and the experience of your visitors. Let your imagination run wild as you dig lakes and rivers, raise hills and mountains, carve paths and caves, and build stunning zoos with a choice of unique themes and hundreds of building components.

There is no indication of a console release for the game, with only Steam being listed as the Store for the game that will be “coming to PC in Fall 2019”. No pricing information yet either, but if the Planet Coaster experience is anything to go by, we can expect a fair to high price for the base game (hopefully Steam Regional Pricing works for us) and then the inevitably pricey DLC packs to come thick and fast after release.

The games’ Steam Store Page is live now, so you can Wishlist to your hearts content in the interim:

*(Northern Hemisphere Fall, because the bottom half of the planet doesn’t exist. Why do publishers persist with that stupid release naming convention anyway? Surely Q1, Q2, etc. would work just as well?!)


Nothing but snakes and crocodiles in the bottom half of the planet mate


The wife is keen for this. She plays Zoo Tycoon to this day still.

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Sounds like Frontier are putting a lot of detail, realism and accuracy into things like animal behaviors, socialization and mating. Their latest Developer Journal is full of info:

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Its actually a long time since I saw a developer journal.

Also lol at dung being a physics object.


Couple of newish screenshots from the Planet Zoo Twitter and Instagram accounts:

This one is the visitor view under the water of the hippo pool:

And a pair of grizzly bears in their enclosure:

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E3 In-Game Trailer:

Launch set for 5 November. Pre-order sales page is now live on Steam. 2 editions - Standard @ R452.99 and Deluxe @ R556.36.

Planet Zoo is available to pre-order now for $44.99 (€44.99, £34.99) and Planet Zoo: Deluxe Edition is available for $54.99 (€54.99, £42.99). Both are available on the Steam online store.

The Deluxe Edition includes Planet Zoo game, plus bonus content:

  • Pre-launch Beta access
  • Three exclusive animals: Komodo Dragon, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Thomson’s Gazelle
  • High-quality wallpapers
  • Original Soundtrack by Jim Guthrie and JJ Ipsen

Players who pre-order the Deluxe Edition can join the pre-launch Beta later this year, and add the Deluxe-exclusive animals to their zoos at launch.

Frontier got the regional pricing right for the base game (as they did with Planet Coaster), with SA prices for the Standard game at 32% below the US price. I still can’t understand why they don’t apply the same calculation to their DLC stuff. All signs point to expensive DLC for Planet Zoo again, sadly.

Also not a huge fan of having Exclusive content in the Deluxe Edition. It’s only 3 animals, but still… R100-odd for 3 animals, some wallpapers you’ll probably never use, and a soundtrack you might listen to once or twice if you’re really keen on it seems a bit neither here nor there.

Anyway, if you’re interested in pre-ordering the game ahead of the November launch, or want to secure a spot in the pre-launch Beta, here’s the link:

Here’s the full gameplay reveal shown to media at E3:

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Big announcements and info dumps at the start of the Frontier/Planet Zoo Gamescom presence this morning.

First, a new “Gamescom Pre-Order Trailer”, featuring some recently revealed or not yet known of until now, animals including the Bornean orangutan, ostriches, warthogs and a poisonous dart frog:

At the same time details of the Planet Zoo Beta that is one of the perks for pre-ordering the games’ Deluxe Edition, were released:

The Beta will run for 2 weeks from 24 September to 8 October:

Planet Zoo Beta

The Planet Zoo Beta will feature the first scenario from our Career Mode, as well as the brand new Franchise Mode, in which you can develop your own zoo franchise along with the rest of the community and use the online Animal Exchange where you can trade animals to increase the genetic diversity and well-being of your animals and zoo. You can replay both maps multiple times and even free-build as if in Sandbox. Here’s what’ll be available:

  • Most of the animals we’ve revealed so far, as well as some yet-to-be-revealed animals you can access during the Beta;
  • Scenario 1 featuring a near-finished zoo in a temperate biome (which you can continue or completely take apart and start over!), with multiple themes and building pieces;
  • Franchise Mode, with a Savannah-inspired biome as an open space for you to unleash your creativity in, with loads of animals as well as another new theme and architecture;
  • Various Staff types and buildings;
  • The Small Steam Train Ride;
  • And a massive host of enrichment, habitat, building, scenery, and foliage pieces!

Please note that in order to get access to the Beta, you have to pre-order the Planet Zoo Deluxe Edition, which comes with additional extras such as three exclusive animals (Pygmy Hippopotamus, Thomson’s Gazelle, and Komodo Dragon), a collection of wallpapers, and the JJ Ipsen soundtrack.

And finally, after Career Mode info was released last week, confirmation that the Career Mode will be revealed in a live stream from Gamescom tonight (20 August) at 7PM BST (which is 8PM SAST) on the Planet Zoo YouTube Channel:

Planet Zoo Career Mode

In Planet Zoo’s Career Mode, you will go on a trip around the world with new characters, exciting objectives, and lots of decisions that can impact the success of your zoos. There’s a bunch of unique Scenarios that follow along a beautiful and adventurous story, written by Graham Goring - and as it’s part of the Planet universe, there will be loads of light-hearted humour and heart-warming moments!

Each Scenario has its own unique challenges, determined by the continent you’re in, the biome you’re utilising, the weather, the temperature, and of course animal availability. There will be goals for you to achieve (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), which contain gameplay objectives that vary in difficulty depending on how far you’ve progressed through the story - there’s a lot of unique objectives to get stuck in to! Each Scenario will open up with an introduction to your new surroundings by a character; in the first part of the story, you will mainly be interacting with Bernard “Bernie” Goodwin and Nancy Jones.

For a first look at our Career Mode, be sure to tune in to our Gamescom Gameplay Demo on Tuesday 20 August at 7PM BST over on - we will be showing off a section of our first tutorial and introduce you to Bernie and Nancy.

Pre-Order the game on Steam for R452.99 (Standard) - R556.36 (Deluxe)

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Looks good and it doesn’t seem too expensive.


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It is a great price I agree, but do keep in mind a point I made in an earlier post:

That said, as much as I’d like to have all the DLC, I have had more than good value out of all of the Frontier games I have - Elite: Dangerous, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution - without them. If Planet Zoo contains as much decent content at launch as those games did, I’m very happy with the Steam pricing for it.

I just still can’t understand why their DLC pricing is so out of sync with the game pricing. And I still want @PsychoFish to convince them to match their Rand pricing to the Argentine Peso when he meets them down in the local pub or the business park cafeteria :slight_smile:

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One hour of unedited live gameplay of the Planet Zoo demo at Gamescom:

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Another Gameplay Reveal out this afternoon.

Should be live here at 4PM if you’re bored with working for the last hour of the day :slight_smile:

Welcome Zookeepers to this very special gameplay reveal video for Planet Zoo, showing off the Savannah biome, a brand new Indian Subcontinent theme, and some new animals for you to spot!
Join Lead Community Manager Bo and 3 fantastic guests, Community Manager Chanté, Senior Artist Liesa, and QA Tester Sam as they take you on a wild ride!

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2 week Beta to open next week for Deluxe Edition pre-order owners:

Best all round review I’ve seen from RPS. “Bestest Bests” Award.

Planet Zoo is a game where you can build your own zoo. It’s buggy, intermittently opaque, frequently saccharine, and – barring an eleventh hour miracle – it’s my undisputed game of the year. Because here’s the thing: it’s a game where you can build your own zoo . And by thunder, it delivers on that promise.

And just as I post that, up pops another (this time not so glowing, although I think the reviewer here may be a little tilted by a their inability to use the Pause button, and absolute must in management sims…)

And a collection of others over on Metacritic:


Seems like the game is a very good entry into the now amazing Planet Thing franchise, and I can’t wait to play it. Still need to buy it though, maybe my SS will look upon this post and take inspiration…

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Thanks to my SS reading this post and finding the inspiration needed, I got to play the game during my holiday. And I must say, I do enjoy the game a lot. I have a few points and thoughts to give.

The management aspect has been heavily increased from Planet Coaster. In that game, many people felt that there wasn’t enough micro-management of theme parks. Well, this is not the case in Planet Zoo. Managing the health and happiness of your animals is a deep and rewarding task. Then you also need to properly plan your breeding programs to get more conservation points. You can easily get lost in all of these mechanics.

Franchise mode is a bit disappointing. In this mode you build zoos and sell and trade animals on a global, online trading center. There are also community goals to achieve with other players, and these can net you a good sum of conversation credits. But I am disappointed in the fact that, when you build a new zoo, all your money and research do not carry over. You literally have to start over again. There is little point in build multiple zoos other than sharing your own animals between zoos. So you can setup a major breeding zoo and have another showcase zoo, but this is a stretch.

Has anyone else played the game?


Would love to, but alas, PC only.

That being said, I’m still a huge fan of Frontier Dev. and always keep an eye on their games. I wonder then, how does this (Planet Zoo) hold up against Jurassic World Evolution in comparison? (if you’ve played that one).

I like your comments though, is there also a sandbox or build mode?

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Yes there is a sandbox mode. You get to build a zoo without worrying about any of the currencies. There’s also an offline version of franchise mode called Challenge mode, which works the same, but without a community driven market.


Had a lot of fun with it around release time, but not since then. :frowning:
Your post may just prompt me to get back to Redd Zoological Inc. My zebra’s are probably all dead by now :zebra:

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