When talk of the Covid-19 coronavirus first started spreading, strategic disease simulator Plague Inc Evolved had a surge in players. Ndemic Creations cautioned players that Plague Inc is not a proper scientific model for the spread of disease and recommended they continue to get information from global health authorities. Now, Ndemic are consulting those experts as they work on an upcoming new game mode that asks players to stop a disease instead of spreading it.
Ndemic announced that they have made a $250,000 donation to the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. They say that in talking with both organisations to set up these donations, they "were repeatedly asked if we could make a game which let the player work to stop an outbreak." So they are.
Unlike in Plague Inc's standard mode where players design and upgrade an infectious disease to maximize its spread, the new update will be just the opposite. "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," Ndemic say of the work-in-progress game mode. To design this new game mode, Ndemic are getting help from the experts at the WHO, Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, and others.
Alice0 noted last year that Plague Inc's recent "fake news" update was fine and all but not exactly a recipe for solving the problem. Not that you'd really expect it to. An update for kicking pandemics to the curb probably won't be any more life-changing, but perhaps it'll be cathartic for some folks.
It will be a free update for all players when it comes out. Ndemic have not yet given a date for the new game mode's release.