Planet Zoo Adding New Offline Mode Following Players Beta Feedback
Planet Zoo will let us manage the commercial menageries of our respective dreams in just over a month, and eager players who’ve pre-ordered the deluxe edition have already been toying with a beta release. But there’s one big change between this preview and the full release following feedback from beta players, Planet Zoo will have a whole new mode on its release date.
Following feedback from beta players, Frontier Developments has announced plans to add a fourth game mode to Planet Zoo.
“We’ve seen some feedback and discussion regarding Franchise Mode and the fact that it is always online,” the developer wrote on Steam. “As we mentioned in our previous post, Franchise Mode working online is an important requirement in order to utilize all of the community and online features. HOWEVER, we are also aware that many of you would like to have the option to play a Sandbox-style gameplay mode which includes many of the Franchise features that offer a greater managerial challenge, in an offline experience.”
The game will now feature Career, Sandbox, Franchise Mode, and a fourth “currently unnamed” mode at launch. This new mode will let players “enjoy much of the Franchise experience, without the online requirements.”
Frontier rolled out a pair of beta updates, the second of which has two big-ticket items – “Improved some issues with enrichment feeder capacities leading to other feeders not being filled by the keeper,” and “Fixed animal birth and death notifications” – along with numerous stability improvements.
The main point of contention, however, has to do with Franchise mode. Like other players, that’s where most of my time in the Planet Zoo beta has gone. It’s an online-only mode in which you start a zoo empire from scratch, trade animals with other players in a marketplace, and earn a special in-game currency (Conservation Credits) for clearing challenges and releasing animals into the wild.
Franchise mode has its own unique vibe. It’s different from what we’ll get in the story-centric Career and the care-free, just-have-fun Sandbox. As such, some players are understandably disappointed they can’t play Franchise offline. That’s going to remain the case in the final version of Planet Zoo, but Frontier is now planning to meet players halfway by offering a fourth game mode at launch.
“This all-new, currently unnamed, mode will allow you to enjoy much of the Franchise experience, without the online requirements,” Frontier Developments said in a Steam post. “This new mode will still include a full economy with both dollars and Conservation Credits, guest needs, Research, Education, animals and more all with the ability to create your zoo, with your vision from the ground up. Naturally, with this being an offline game mode, there are certain features that will only be available in Franchise Mode. These include: Trading between players, Leaderboards, and Community Challenges.”
The plan is to have that ready in time for launch on November 5th. That’ll join Franchise Mode, a Career Mode progressing through a series of scenarios, and a plain ol’ Sandbox.
Planet Zoo officially launches on November 5