Microsoft Zoo Was a Cancelled Attempt to Bring Back the Zoo Tycoon Series for Xbox
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Kinectimals developer Frontier was working on a Zoo Tycoon game for Xbox 360, before Microsoft cancelled the project.

Called Microsoft Zoo the game was a family title that mixed management with interactive elements, according to former lead artist and UI team leader Anil Glendinning.

“Part zoo creation and part animal interaction, this third person adventure was all charm and laid the groundwork for what would eventually become Kinectimals,” said Glendinning on his website.

“Coming from a marketing background and having worked the similarly targeted brands of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, I wanted to design a GUI that was fun and inviting to use for kids and adults alike.

“For the look of the GUI I took inspiration from junior arts, paper-craft and imaginary journals that could be kept by characters from adventures such as Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn and Tarzan. 

“Using mainly earthy hues, saturated colors and combined with hand drawn illustrations and woodcut style prints, I aimed to create a rich and colourful interface that matched the vibrancy and charm of the Zoo game world.”

There’s some images from the cancelled project below. Looks really inviting, doesn’t it? 

[via AGB]


User Comments

Forum Posts: 125
Comment #1 by ebin
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:47:15 AM
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Bummer, I like zoos.

Forum Posts: 150
Comment #2 by darkboy1200
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:49:54 AM
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Looked cool. Would've made a nice XBLA game. Wonder why they canceled it.

Forum Posts: 5525
Comment #3 by master_shake_350
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:51:57 AM
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:O what a shame, this would have been so much fun.

Forum Posts: 1749
Comment #4 by UberPirateNinja
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:52:35 AM
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probs cancelled it because it used those old fashioned 'controllers', and not the fancy-chrome-futuristic kinetic.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #5 by colderclimate
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:52:50 AM
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Shame :( Looks good!

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #6 by Anubit3Blad3
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:54:22 AM
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I miss the Zoo Tycoon Games, this would of been a nice refresher.

Forum Posts: 233
Comment #7 by Rusty Nail zh
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 08:55:23 AM
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More management games for XBOX 360 would have been awesome...! Aww.. :(

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #8 by andrewnungester
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:02:38 AM
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this would be awesome

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #9 by glitch12
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:12:04 AM
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If it had some sort of local multiplayer, this could've been the perfect thing for me and my lil brother. He could interact with the animals while i built new exhibits for him to see

Forum Posts: 490
Comment #10 by Rickmassacre
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:25:59 AM
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I really enjoyed zoo tycoon as a kid.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #11 by Project K-2
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:49:18 AM
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Sadly, right now Microsoft is more concerned in having all sorts of media on Xbox 360 instead of games.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #12 by beastly504
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:49:36 AM
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That sucks! I would have loved to have a pet monkey!

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #13 by XxStuartxX 1990
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:56:07 AM
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I still have zoo tycoon 2, it's a bit dubbed down from the original, but I still love feeding my guests to the lions.

(insert evil laugh)

Forum Posts: 165
Comment #14 by lonesquiff
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:57:31 AM
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@11 My thoughts exactly.

This looks like it would have been fun. The genre of management games is sorely lacking on xbla.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by beastly504
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 09:57:33 AM
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I want to piss off the rhino, then run! >:-)

Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #16 by EMP
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:00:32 AM
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Good. Lets make a real game.....

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #17 by Fearon18
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:26:17 AM
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Am I the only one praying for a new roller coaster tycoon? Spent thousands of hours on those games as a kid.

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #18 by sumthingchronic
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:28:26 AM
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Looked rather nice have to admit

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #19 by jordanwyo
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:30:18 AM
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lets see some animals and not menus and pause screens. i would have so played this

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #20 by XxStuartxX 1990
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:32:38 AM
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Are you one of those no guns no game, kind of guys.

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #21 by XxStuartxX 1990
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:34:47 AM
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This would be great as a free to play game, I'm usually against Free to play stuff, but his would fit it perfectly, so long as they add the ability to visit other people Zoos and I'd play the crap out of it.

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #22 by Jackal99
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:48:43 AM
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Cancelled games seem to be getting as many reveals as existing games at the moment.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #23 by daardu
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:21:57 AM
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That's a real shame honestly. I loved zoo tycoon, and an Xbox version would have been fantastic!

Forum Posts: 615
Comment #24 by doomey
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:28:31 AM
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That's it. I quit. :(

Forum Posts: 367
Comment #25 by InfernoFrY
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:49:56 AM
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WE need more Sim games. I love Tropico, Viva Pinata type world builders. More like these please. Would like a Tycoon / Theme Park/Hospital business management sim on the xbox I miss them. They were my favourite game in the PSX era. Civ Rev didnt live up to the high hopes i had.

Forum Posts: 1451
Comment #26 by Fire Hawk D
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:13:11 PM
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Aw, would have loved this. Shame.

Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #27 by EMP
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:16:45 PM
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@20 No I'm one of those people who wants to see a good game get released. Microsoft Zoo doesn't do that for me.

Forum Posts: 956
Comment #28 by Lord Montymort
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:19:37 PM
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I love Zoo Tycoon, still play both of them on my PC occasionally. Would have probably picked this up, would have been a nice change of pace from the usual games released these days.

Forum Posts: 738
Comment #29 by DerEnglaender
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:27:25 PM
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So its like viva pinata with real animals?

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #30 by Pheenomx
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:28:56 PM
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Such a shame. Hey Frontier since you scrapped this can you remake a Tom Sawyer Roller Coaster Tycoon for the XBLA?!?!

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #31 by cheevo360
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:40:12 PM
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I love Elephants, Tigers, Dolphins, Killer Whales, Cats, Monkey and many birds. Will love look after them well in this new Zoo game if they have those type animals. Never played Zoo games in past but did played near like Zoo is Jurassic Park strategy game back in 2002 or 2003 for original Xbox so it is quite good game. Maybe buy new Zoo Tycoon for Xbox. :)

Forum Posts: 454
Comment #32 by MasterSparky
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:50:54 PM
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I miss Building simulation games. Rollercoaster Tycoon will remain my all time favourite game. Theme Hospital was also a game I sent most of my childhood on.

Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #33 by DecadentBeaver
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 01:21:28 PM
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I would have bought that. Looks like fun. 34 years young I say haha. I like strategy games and the like. Want to go back to Tropico 3, and want A Train as I had that a few years ago, actually, it was ages ago. Sometimes it's good to chill out and play a game at your own pace. Still want A Theme Park/Hospital HD release. Played the crap out of them.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #34 by Jornny Ramone
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 01:24:13 PM
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Anyone else think of Viva Pinata while looking at the first few images?

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #35 by quaneylfc
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 01:28:11 PM
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stop giving us news on games that have been cancelled, its like kicking people when they are down, LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON!!

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #36 by Phantomzero17
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 01:36:35 PM
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Jeez when was the last time I played a Zoo Tycoon game... hmm I might have to dig up a disk from the closet and install it.

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #37 by l.maciver
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 02:19:12 PM
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why does anything i want die or burn. 8(

Forum Posts: 228
Comment #38 by Total Shinobi
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 02:29:05 PM
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God I loved Zoo Tycoon and this looked like a really interesting take on the concept. Bummer :(

Forum Posts: 121
Comment #39 by Ostrowski
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 02:49:10 PM
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I probably woul have bought this lol. I played zoo tycoon for days on end when I was a kid

Forum Posts: 91
Comment #40 by bearmod
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 02:52:18 PM
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Damn, I never even heard of this before now. I always loved the tycoon games, would've liked to give this a try

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #41 by BeamyOwl
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 03:15:17 PM
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Damn, my wife and I would've loved this. Hope they un-cancel it!

Forum Posts: 7185
Comment #42 by Kairi
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 03:58:07 PM
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I wish this came out! I absolutely love Zoo Tycoon and it would have been so awesome to have a chance to play this!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #43 by SRXF
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 04:25:17 PM
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by the looks of it this wasn't a kinect game what a shame it was canceled it looked like it could have been a fun game.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #44 by Ryda34563
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 07:05:00 PM
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This could have been a great co-op game to play and make your own Zoo, Why cancel it?!

Forum Posts: 215
Comment #45 by Restricted-Access
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 12:16:24 AM
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Maybe someone can get Matt Damon to endorse it... then they could call it, "We Built a Zoo!"

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #46 by BruTaLyZe
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 03:08:26 AM
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I played Rollercoaster Tycoon on the original Xbox, which didn't really work for me. Building tracks and that sort of thing just took too much time and was done 10 times quicker on PC. Can't say I'm not curious to what this would've been like, but if they didn't change the gameplay and mechanics, I don't think it would've been that good.

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #48 by XxStuartxX 1990
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 05:43:29 AM
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Wait so this was canceled and later evolved into Kinectimals, WTF, that game is basically about stroking baby animals, how do you get from this to that?

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #49 by Calviano
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 09:57:41 AM
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Ok, why are they showing us what we could of have. This looked like it could of been a good idea with building your own zoo and maybe visiting other zoos and think of the money they could of made with DLC of animal packs or equipment. I think they dropped the ball on this one.

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