Developer Journal: Franchise Mode

Chante Goodman

Community Manager
Hello everyone and welcome to our next Developer Journal! This is where our developers dive deeper into features and aspects of Planet Zoo, that we hope you're interested in! In this Developer Journal, we will be focusing on Franchise Mode, a game mode that is new to the Planet universe!

Please say hello to Game Director Piers Jackson and Principal Designer Jim Stimpson!


Hello everyone! Thanks for inviting us on for a Developer Journal, it's great to be able to share some more information about Franchise Mode!

Franchise Mode is our new online mode for Planet Zoo; a franchise allows you to open up a series of connected zoos all over the globe. As you can open your zoos on different continents and in different biomes, you'll face different challenges in each with the temperature and weather!

In Career Mode you take on the role of a Zoo Manager and follow a narrative; in Franchise Mode you start from scratch and can build your franchise the way you want to. With only a small amount of cash, you’ll have to make decisions about how you’re going to grow your zoos, balancing the economic needs of the zoo with the welfare needs of your animals.

Yes, the economy is slightly different too. While cash is local to a zoo, our secondary currency of Conservation Credits are Franchise wide, so you can earn them in one zoo but spend them in another (we’ll talk more about these further down). We have also introduced a new type of objective; Community Challenges. These are where you will need to work together with other players to achieve a global goal, which could be something like "Release African Elephants to the Wild".

One of the key differences with Franchise Mode is that it’s an always online experience and this opens up the possibility of trading animals with other player’s franchises. We built trading into Planet Zoo to simulate the activity that real-world zoos undertake in maintaining stud books and moving animals between zoos to maintain genetic diversity. In Planet Zoo, trading allows you to list your animals in a Trade Centre. Other players can then purchase and adopt your animals to add to their own collection and help maintain their genetic diversity. Naturally, you can also choose to adopt animals from other player’s franchises to further your zoo too.

Trading animals with other players is great for expanding your zoo and can be used as a great source of income too. When you list your animal you’ll be able to set its price in Conservation Credits, so if you want a fast sale you can set it below the market average. The price you set for your animal will depend on a few factors: the species of animal, its age, and more importantly its genetics. If you have an animal with great genetics, then you can charge top dollar for an animal!

So to explain the differences in currency, cash is brought into the zoo by guests and is what they use to pay the entrance fee, make donations, and purchase items such as food and drink. Cash is mostly used to pay staff wages, look after running costs, and building of the zoos infrastructure, but it can also be used to pay for the adoption of some animals. Conservation Credits are our second form of currency and they are earned by undertaking certain objectives; these are the primary form of currency in animal adoptions and trading.

Personally, I’m looking forward to how you will work together as a community in order to complete Community Challenges. I think there’ll be a real call to arms to complete the challenges and I can’t wait to see that. We’re planning a variety of different challenges, so it will be interesting to see how you react to them.

For me, the most exciting part is knowing that we still have something secret to share about breeding. I cannot wait for you to discover it for yourselves!

Your reactions have been great so far. I’m looking forward to the reaction to the small details that we’ve added to the game. I love it when someone discovers something or works out exactly how something functions by themselves.

Having now had the opportunity to speak to some of our future community at trade shows and having heard their ideas for what they want to build with Planet Zoo, I’m more excited than ever to see these ideas come to light.
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Awesome!! Thanks for the info guys :D

I'm curious if animals for trade will be for purchase to anyone in franchise mode or if we can specify that only Steam friends can adopt them, for example? It would be neat to be able to trade some animals just between friends, if you're working on a breeding programme together
So I get to build my own zoos without unlimited money? AND I can earn conservation credits through achievements in my zoos to adopt and trade animals? This is the mode for me! Thank you, Frontier, I was really hoping for something like this, it sounds like Franchise Mode is exactly what I wanted and more!


Volunteer Moderator
Thank you for this amazing new Developer Journal!

I can't wait to start with the Franchise Mode. Especially the Community Challenges, they sound super appealing, and I'm sure that the community is going to love it!

Well done everyone, Planet Zoo truly is going to be a new masterpiece from the brilliant team at Frontier Developments! ❤

I really like that Conservation Credits are going to be the primary currency for adopting and trading animals; in real life zoos (at least in Europe) animals are traded between zoos with closed wallet; the receiving zoo only pays for the transport, not for the animals themselves as they do not have an economic value. Thanks for taking that into account in the game!
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