Following feedback from Planet Zoo beta players who were unhappy that its fancy Franchise Mode was only playable while online, Frontier Developments have announced they'll add a similar mode supporting offline play. Franchise Mode is one of three modes originally planned, giving players more to manage while running multiple zoos around the world. But it ties in online system like trading animals with other players (to ensure genetic diversity in breeding programmes, obvs) and it's just not playable offline. So hooray that Frontier now plan to make a fourth mode which offers a lot of Franchise mode's features without the online bits.
"Franchise Mode has always been designed with online play in mind due to its challenging multiplayer features. Having this as a multiplayer experience means that everyone can benefit from a truly player-drive economy. It is important that this mode remains online only because it requires a significant amount of server held information to be stored in order to function as required and ensure it remains fully secure."
But they recognised folks might want to play a similar experience offline. Enter a yet-unnamed fourth mode, announced on Friday.
"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 zoos 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.
As for the beta this feedback is coming from, that's available to people who pre-order and pay an extra £8 for the Deluxe Edition. We do not condone pre-ordering.
Our Alice L played an earlier version of Planet Zoo a month back: