'Plague Inc.' creators and WHO working on new save-the-world game mode
MANILA, Philippines – A new game mode that flips the script on popular pandemic simulator Plague Inc. is brewing.
United Kingdom-based Ndemic Creations said that, while arranging donations for the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO), they were repeatedly asked to make a new game mode where the player would be tasked with stopping an outbreak, and save the world's humans from being wiped out.
In the original game mode, players take on the role of a virus, bacteria, or whatever biological contaminant, evolving from weak, slow-infecting pathogen to an unstoppable killer. The "enemy" in the original game mode are the humans trying to come up with a cure before the pathogen wipes off everyone. During the spread of COVID-19 in China, the game was pulled from Apple's App Store.
The gameplay is reversed in the new mode. "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," the developer said.
The mode is being developed with the help of experts from the World Health Organization, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and more.
“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,” said James Vaughan, creator of the game. “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."
“We are delighted that Ndemic Creations have so generously contributed to our crucial vaccine development work, especially as we tackle the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19,” said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI.
The response fund will also be promoted directly in game for Plague Inc. players soon. – Rappler.com