If you’re aching for the old days of Zoo Tycoon, UK-based developer Frontier has a nice surprise for you. The studio’s next game is Planet Zoo, a zoo management simulator similar to Planet Coaster (without all the thrills of a theme park), and it’s coming to PC this fall.
Frontier, whose recent work includes Elite Dangerous and Jurassic World Evolution, spent time at real zoos consulting with workers and veterinarians in order to create an accurate zookeeping experience. Special care was taken to create distinctive, lifelike models that make the animals feel authentic, according to a PC Gamer interview with lead animator Chris Marsh. “When it comes to animating the animals, it’s not just about making sure they move right, but that we capture something about them,” says Marsh. Frontier believes Planet Zoo will have the most realistic animals in any game, ever.
Frontier was contracted by Microsoft Studios to develop the 2013 version of Zoo Tycoon, which received an underwhelming response from players and critics due to a lack of depth. Planet Coaster, Elite Dangerous, and Jurassic Park Evolution, also developed by Frontier, have shown that the studio knows how to make a good management simulator. Here’s hoping they get this one right.
We don’t know a lot of specifics about Planet Zoo just yet, but fans are already creating wishlists for their ideal zoo. Red Pandas, Zoo Tycoon-esque scenarios, and a heavier focus on the management side of the game are all things that players are hoping for.