Zoo Tycoon (series)

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Zoo Tycoon
Genres Business simulation game
Developers Blue Fang Games, Frontier Developments, Behaviour Interactive
Publishers Microsoft Game Studios
Platforms Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows Phone
First release Zoo Tycoon
October 17, 2001
Latest release Zoo Tycoon (2013 video game)
November 22, 2013

Zoo Tycoon is a series of business simulation video games. The games focus around building and running successful zoo scenarios. The series was initially developed by Blue Fang Games and published by Microsoft Studios who later in 2001-2008 went on to create two stand-alone video games and seven expansion packs for PC and Macintosh platforms. With their contract with Microsoft ending in 2009, Blue Fang announced their official forums would close to incoming posts in June of 2008.[1] In 2013, Microsoft Studios released a new Zoo Tycoon (2013 video game) game, developed by Frontier Developments exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2013.[2]


Zoo Tycoon is a zoo simulation video game putting the player in control of their own fictional zoo business. The gameplay formula introduced in the original Zoo Tycoon in 2001 received updates throughout the series, but its theme and main motifs remain unchanged: Players must build, expand, and/or upgrade a zoo by purchasing animals, creating suitable animal habitats, and allocate staff and resources for animal maintenance and care. As the ultimate goal of the game is revenue, players must also provide for visitors by building food/drink stands, sanitary facilities, picnic areas, and an aesthetically pleasing environment. Higher revenue is generated by keeping both animals and visitors happy.

Zoo Tycoon features three modes: Scenario, Challenge, and Freestyle. The Scenario mode puts players in control of a preset scenario in which they have to accomplish multiple objectives within a time period. New items are unlocked as the scenario progresses. The Challenge mode, first introduced in Zoo Tycoon 2, resembles the Scenario mode in that the player is in a preset scenario with limited funds and must accomplish certain goals. It differs in that this mode is not progressive. The Freestyle mode differs in each game, but usually leaves the player free to build a zoo from scratch however they see fit.


Zoo Tycoon (2001)[edit]

Zoo Tycoon, released in 2001, was followed in 2002 by two expansion packs: Dinosaur Digs and Marine Mania. Also, a free Endangered Species download was available from Microsoft.com. In 2003, Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection was released which included everything: the original game, the expansion packs, and the downloadable.

Zoo Tycoon 2[edit]

Zoo Tycoon 2 was released in 2004 [3] and was followed by the first expansion pack, Endangered Species, in 2005. The African Adventure and Marine Mania were released the following year. Also available as a premium download was the Dino Danger Pack, available for purchase by credit card from the Zoo Tycoon website. Finally, Extinct Animals was released in 2007.[4]

Zookeeper Collection was a compilation of the original game, the Endangered Species, and the African Adventure expansions. Ultimate Collection was a compilation of the original game and all of its expansions.

Zoo Tycoon (2013)[edit]

Microsoft released a new Zoo Tycoon game exclusive for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2013.[5]

Zoo Tycoon: Friends[edit]

Zoo Tycoon: Friends is a new free-to-play Zoo Tycoon title developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by Microsoft, released in 2014. Servers have been shut down in April 2015 due to technical failures.

Handheld and mobile editions[edit]

In addition to the main series, there are several handheld and mobile games. Zoo Tycoon DS (2005) and Zoo Tycoon 2 DS (2008).[6] Zoo Tycoon 2 and its expansion Marine Mania are both available for the mobile phone. With the exception of Zoo Tycoon 2 DS, none of these games were developed by Blue Fang Games.


There are several Zoo Tycoon mousemats available on Amazon.co.uk.

DK released Zoo Tycoon 2: The Ultimate Sticker Collection book.

The original Zoo Tycoon 2 box set included a bonus animal pen.


  1. ^ The Exotic Gamer. "The Gamer's Zoo Tycoon Blog". zootycoonblog-gamer.blogspot.co.uk. 
  2. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (June 11, 2013). "Zoo Tycoon announced for Xbox One and Xbox 360". VG 24/7. videogaming247 Ltd. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  3. ^ http://uk.ask.com/question/zoo-tycoon-3-demo
  4. ^ Andy Gold, Sr. UI Developer. "Zoo Tycoon 2 Extinct Animals - Files - Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals Demo - Official Demos - Game Front". gamefront.com. 
  5. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (June 11, 2013). "Zoo Tycoon announced for Xbox One and Xbox 360". VG 24/7. videogaming247 Ltd. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nintendo". nintendo.com. 

External links[edit]