Jurassic World Evolution launched this week, letting players try their hands at becoming the managing director at a thriving dino-filled park. Or, depending on how you play, a dangerous nightmare center where visitors are imperiled by prehistoric monsters. During E3, I met with Frontier Developments to learn about what’s ahead for the game – and it’s coming sooner than you may expect.
On June 22, a free gameplay update is hitting the game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The base game shipped with 37 dinosaurs, and the deluxe edition had 42. Everyone will have some additional critters in just a few days, which can be used within the game’s existing scenarios.
“It comes along with Fallen Kingdom, and it’s going to have six of the dinosaurs,” says Nick Rodgers, head of animation at Frontier. “We’ve got the Indoraptor, which is a new hybrid, and he’s completely mad. It’s very difficult to contain, and it has a completely unique animation set from the other dinosaurs. It’ll be a really interesting one when it comes out. And he’s a he; the rest of them are female.”
Here’s the complete roster of new dinosaurs that are coming to the game with the June 22 update:
“They’re all really cool, as well,” Rodgers says. “Baryonyx is one of my favorite dinosaurs anyway, they’re just awesome ones to have around.”
The DLC got a bit of help from, of all things, professional soccer. “We’ve had the benefit of getting the film early in the UK,” says Rich Newbold, the game’s executive producer. “It came out the sixth of June, but you guys don’t get it until the 22nd. In Europe they put it out before the World Cup, because it’s more of a focus than it is for you guys.”
“We started animating some of the dinosaurs before we saw the film, so it was like, ‘What if we go in there and it’s completely different from how we imagined it?’ Rodgers says. “Luckily, Universal were really cool and they arranged for us to see some early footage – particularly of the Indoraptor because we had no idea what that thing looked like, and we particularly had no idea how it moved. It has a really creepy way of moving. It’s on all fours like a huge raptor dragon. It has huge, long claws that it pulls itself along with, and it kind of twitches. It’s like it’s not quite right, it’s not quite made properly. It’s one we had to start completely from scratch. We really enjoyed it because it moves in such a mad way, it really gave us a chance to push the boat a little bit on the animation.”
What’s ahead for Jurassic World: Evolution? Just like Jurassic Park itself, the answer to that question may lie in the past.
“We don’t have anything to announce right now, but if you have a look back at what our post-launch plans were with other games you’ll get an idea of how Frontier tends to support our games,” Rodgers says. “We’re still working on Elite [Dangerous] three years after launching it. I’d be amazed if we didn’t keep launching stuff, but officially there’s nothing to announce.”
Jurassic World: Evolution is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.