I dislike DENUVO but from a developer standpoint I can understand the frustration of piracy and the feeling of helplessness all devs experience when they see their game being pirated. Again, I don’t condone something as invasive as DENUVO but it’s not impacted me or the gameplay and the gameplay of Planet Coaster is amazing. It’s a slightly more serious Roller Coaster Tycoon – and considering how hard that franchise has fallen off (RCT: World anyone?) I cannot recommend any theme park management/builder game more than Planet Coaster.
Also, you don’t need the DLC to enjoy Planet Coaster! There is so much content in the Steam workshop, knock yourself out designing and grabbing other players’ creations, even professional studios create items, buildings, rides, and parks for others to use. I’m not attacking the DLCs either, if you can afford them (or next time they go on sale!) they are fun too, this is just Frontier’s business model for how they fund continued development of their games. As much as I’d love to keep getting free content, I understand why some studios choose to charge for it.
For those that think Frontier is just “another greedy developer”, they are a medium (but growing) UK studio that I really want to succeed because they’ve shown to care about creating quality games first, and then monetize them later. Yes, they do care about money, but it’s not been to the detriment of their games (so far). For 2019, their entire year they made £17.4 million in net profit while spending well over £70.3 million creating and maintaining the franchises we love (Planet Coaster, Elite Dangerous, Planet Zoo, Jurassic World: Evolution, and future games). This is not egregious by any stretch. And they aren’t tax dodgers or anything sketchy: they paid their U.K. and overseas taxes – to the tune of about £2.2 million despite the company as a whole not running a retained profit yet (basically they ran at losses for years, and still have tax credits so they are using about 50% tax credit and paying 50% each year they do book a profit).
TL;DR - Planet Coaster is a great game, tons of content, both paid and free, and the devs do care about sustaining and supporting it.