The game Plague Inc. is best known for letting you create a disease to wipe out humanity. But in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Plague Inc. will add a new game mode that’ll let you do the opposite and save the world from a deadly outbreak.
The game’s developer Ndemic Creations is creating the new game mode on feedback from the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. “We were repeatedly asked if we could make a game which let the player work to stop an outbreak,” the developer said in a post on Monday.
Players can expect the new game mode to let them control world governments in the midst of a global pandemic. According to Ndemic Creations, you’ll have to balance “managing disease progression and boosting healthcare systems” while also resorting to other measures such as quarantines, shutting down public services, and calling on people to adopt social distancing.
“We are developing this game mode with the help of experts from the World Health Organisation, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and more,” the developer added. “The new update will be free for all players during the pandemic and we will share more information as soon as we can.”
The change promises to add at least some optimism to Plague Inc., especially in light of current events. The standard game mode forces you to win by infecting, and then killing everyone with your created disease.
Ndemic Creations announced the upcoming game mode as the developer made a $250,000 donation to the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to help combat the coronavirus. The developer also plans on placing a notification in the Plague Inc., calling on players to donate money to the COVID-19 Solidarity Respond Fund.
The developers created Plague Inc. in 2012 to simulate how viruses and other diseases can quickly spread across the globe. As result, the game has done an eerily, accurate job of depicting certain aspects to the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in Wuhan, China, but has now infected more than 41,000 people in the US, despite government attempts to contain it.
However, Ndemic Creations is urging the gaming public to source actual information about the coronavirus from public health authorities, and not from Plague Inc. itself. “Please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people,” Ndemic Creations said back in January.