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Planet Zoo

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Simulation
Developer: Frontier Developments
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2019

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'Planet Zoo' Celebrates 2nd Anniversary With A Host Of Free Content

by Rainier on Nov. 4, 2021 @ 1:55 p.m. PDT

Planet Zoo is the ultimate zoo simulation featuring authentic living animals, rich management, and limitless creativity, players can build and manage a truly modern zoo where animal welfare and conservation comes first.

From the makers of Planet Coaster (2016) and Jurassic World Evolution (2018) comes the ultimate zoo simulation, featuring authentic living animals, rich management, and limitless creativity. Build and manage a truly modern zoo where animal welfare and conservation comes first.

Planet Zoo presents the most authentic animals in videogame history. From playful lion cubs to mighty elephants, every animal in Planet Zoo is an individual who thinks, feels and explores the world you build around them. They care about their surroundings and each other, with complex environmental and social needs. Nurture your animals throughout their lives, study and manage every species to see them thrive, and help them raise young to pass their genes onto future generations.

Manage your own zoo in an expressive world that reacts to every choice you make. Focus on the big picture or go hands-on and look after the smallest details. Thrill visitors with prestigious animals and famous exhibits, develop your zoo and research new technologies, and release animals back into the wild to repopulate the planet.

Frontier Developments announced a free update is heading to the game today, bringing with it a host of new content to celebrate two years of Frontier’s ultimate zoo simulation, Planet Zoo.

As part of the anniversary update, players will now be able to add a cake shop to their zoos. New to Planet Zoo, Bernie’s Bakes will provide guests with delicious sweet treats and help them get into the anniversary spirit.

In addition to Bernie’s Bakes, the Black and White Ruffed Lemur is sure to be a favourite for zookeepers and guests alike. Found in the rainforests of Madagascar, these fascinating primates are known for their female-led social groups, incredibly loud call, and signature white ruff.

Zookeepers can also put their skills to the test with a weekend-long community challenge, taking place from 5th-7th November. Every 5 animals a player releases will result in increased chances of obtaining high-rated animals and albino colouring, while every 20 animals the player releases awards a complete avatar outfit.

Along with this fantastic free content, zoo guests will also be helping put on a celebratory display, wishing zookeepers everywhere a Wippi Abbonibo (Happy anniversary in Planco) as they bring colourful balloons along with them for the duration of the anniversary weekend.

Since its launch in 2019, Planet Zoo has endeared and enthralled players, providing them with the perfect platform for their imaginations to run wild. Two years on, we revisit some of the Frontier Developments team’s favourite moments and animals from the past two years, and explore what makes working on the ultimate zoo simulation so enjoyable!

Amazing Animals

With over 115 species to choose from, hailing from all corners of the globe including North American wilderness, African plains, and Arctic tundra, Planet Zoo’s continued mission to showcase the enormous diversity of the animal kingdom is one that the development team relish in.

As Game Designer Kilian Schmitt explains, authentically representing a wide spectrum of species, some of which are endangered, is something the team are particularly proud of. “We work with our partner zoos across the world, undertaking really in-depth animal research to help contribute to the wider message around conservation. Education is a core value for Planet Zoo.”

“I think my favourite animal so far to work on has probably been the California Sea Lion – the way they move, flop around, and all of their unique behaviours, they’re just so much fun!” says Josh Shepherd, Lead Animator.

And it’s not just the larger animals that endear the team. “I never thought making an insect roll a ball of dung could be such an interesting piece of work,” says Kai Cheng, Full 3D Animator. The Sacred Scarab Beetle (a.k.a. Dung Beetle) exhibit is one of many smaller creatures brought to life in the game with Frontier’s trademark attention to detail.

Fantastic Features

A wealth of base-game content, a host of delightful DLC packs (7 to be exact), and a plethora of innovative updates have been brought to Planet Zoo so far. The team are no strangers to the intricate work that it takes to bring these amazing animals and fantastic features to life, from terrain tools and scenery items, to digging and deep water swimming.

“The level of animation detail and the range of behaviours is something that I think really makes Planet Zoo stand out from other games in the genre.” says Shepherd.

“Working on the animations for deep swimming was the most memorable feature for me, because it was unlike any technical or creative challenge I’d faced up until that point.” he explains. “It was a truly collaborative process between code, animation, and design, and although it was challenging, between all of us we managed to create something that I’m really proud of.”

Community Creativity

One of the great things about Planet Zoo is the many opportunities players have to get creative. The game’s passionate community have put many thousands of hours into crafting elaborate habitats, scenery, facilities, and more since release, and continue to find new ways to impress (and inspire) the team.

Unleash your creativity with the next evolution of Planet Coaster’s best-in-class creation mechanics. Craft stunning scenery and habitats, dig lakes and rivers, raise hills and mountains, and carve tunnels and caves as you build your own zoo. See your animals and visitors respond to your creative vision, and share your designs with friends in Planet Zoo’s online community. Bring the world’s greatest designs home to your own zoo for your animals and visitors to enjoy.

Planet Zoo is available for PC (Steam) at £34.99 / $44.99 / €44.99 with a bevy of DLCs.

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