In 2005, THQ brought Microsoft Game Studios' popular PC zoo-management sim Zoo Tycoon to the Nintendo DS. While not exactly a critical darling, the game did manage to move more than 500,000 units in the US alone, according to industry tracking group NPD. Those appear to be good enough numbers for THQ, because the publisher today announced it would be translating Microsoft's Zoo Tycoon 2 from the PC to Nintendo's portable.
As with the first DS game, Zoo Tycoon 2 is based on the PC game but offers distinct gameplay and new features. Players will be able to tend their virtual menageries in zoo designer or zoo director mode, as well as the new zookeeper mode, where animals can be tended in a 3D environment. The game features a wide array of creatures from every continent, and the DS version expands on the PC original with new animals and environments. The game also incorporates a multiplayer component, in which players who each have their own copy of the game can share zoo data.
Though Blue Fang Games developed both PC iterations and the first DS remake, THQ has tapped Nintendo handheld specialists Altron for Zoo Tycoon 2 DS. The game is slated to appear in early 2008.
With Microsoft currently out of the handheld market, Zoo Tycoon 2 joins a growing number of the software giant's titles to be ported to the handheld made by its console-war rival. Besides Zoo Tycoon, Microsoft Game Studios' Age of Empires: Age of Kings has also been ported to the DS. The psychedelic kids' game Viva Piñata is also coming to the portable.