Ndemic Creations, the team behind the wildly popular mobile game Plague, Inc., has announced a new major update to the game with a new gameplay strategy: players must work to stop an outbreak from happening. The news comes amid an announcement that Ndemic Creations has donated a total of $250,000 to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
According to Ndemic Creations, the company was asked multiple times by both CEPI and WHO to create a game that enabled players to stop an outbreak rather than create one. Rather than creating an entirely new game, the company is developing an update to its existing Plague Inc game that will let players stop an outbreak like the one currently impacting the world.
According to the company, Plague Inc players will ‘balance managing disease progression and boosting healthcare systems’ in addition to managing things like quarantine, triage, public services, and social distancing as influencing factors. Ndemic Creations says that it has accelerated work on this mode.
Plague Inc isn’t free to play — it costs one buck, so it’s not terribly expensive, either. The new game mode, which doesn’t yet have a name, will be made available to players for free during the pandemic. The company says that it will be back with more information about this as soon as possible.
The project isn’t surprising. As news of the coronavirus outbreak in China spread around the world, the company saw a massive uptick in the number of people who were downloading and playing Plague Inc. The same has proven true for media — the movie Contagion has also risen back through the ranks and several of the top shows on Netflix in the US are related to pandemics and plagues.