‘Plague Inc.’ Will Soon Make You the Hero
- A new mode coming soon will have you curing plagues.
- Ndemic Creations’ Plague Inc. skyrocketed in popularity in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Ndemic has donated $250k towards the battle against the ongoing pandemic.
This story is almost like watching at least one chapter of the coronavirus pandemic come to a close. In the earliest days of the outbreak, when it was seemingly isolated to the city of Wuhan in the interior province of Hubei in China, I reported on how the game Plague Inc. took off like a rocket into popularity first in China and then steadily around the world. Plague Inc. puts players in a position to create a virus, unleash it on the world, and have it evolve over time with the goal of infecting the entirety of Earth’s population.
When the first 40 million people were quarantined in China, this game became as much a form of entertainment as it was for people desperately trying to understand how viruses form and spread. It made it to a point that Ndemic Creations’ website was actually knocked offline by floods of visitors and prompted the developers to release a statement that forwarded those curious to organizations like WHO or the CDC. As weeks went by, suddenly Plague Inc. was pulled from circulation by the Cyberspace Administration of China without warning at the end of February. Globally though, it hasn’t stopped the popularity of the title and now Ndemic Creations is looking to switch things up a bit.
Ndemic has issued a formal announcement that they’ll be donating $250,000 to both the World Health Organization and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations as they seek to create a vaccine. They also announced that soon enough players will be able to experience Plague Inc. in a new way as they’ll have the option to fight back against viral outbreaks to switch things up from the normal gameplay.
Eight years ago, I never imagined the real world would come to resemble a game of Plague Inc. or that so many players would be using Plague Inc. to help them get through an actual pandemic. We are proud to be able to help support the vital work of the WHO and CEPI as they work towards finding a vaccine for COVID-19.
When arranging our donations with the WHO and CEPI, we were repeatedly asked if we could make a game which let the player work to stop an outbreak. Therefore, as well as providing financial support, we are accelerating work on a new Plague Inc. game mode which lets players save the world from a deadly disease outbreak.
Players will have to balance managing disease progression and boosting healthcare systems as well as controlling real-world actions such as triaging, quarantining, social distancing and closing of public services. 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 new update will be free for all players during the pandemic and we will share more information as soon as we can.
While it’s always cool to see a developer have a sudden injection of success, even though the game has already performed well for years prior, seeing the sudden skyrocket in interest ending with them able to use a portion of their profits to fight a real pandemic is something you don’t get to see everyday.