Plague Inc. — the strategy game about evolving and spreading diseases — received an update yesterday with a new mode that flips the script on its original gameplay. The new mode, titled Plague Inc: The Cure, is developer Ndemic Creations’ attempt to simulate the real-life, multifaceted approach required to stop a pandemic, based on input it received from real experts.
The game originally launched in 2012 but surged in popularity this March after news of the COVID-19 outbreak spread across the world. The Cure is a response to our current reality, featuring several stages of containing a pandemic, like researching the disease, using techniques like contact tracing, and developing a vaccine. Ndemic stresses that the game shouldn’t be taken as a scientific model, but with the input of experts, it does capture an idea of the kind of response required to stop something like COVID-19.
Ndemic announced a pair of donations in March to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to aid in COVID-19 relief efforts. Discussions around those donations ultimately prompted the development of this new mode, which Ndemic based on input from both organizations.
The resulting mode seems to have successfully integrated that real-life science, producing gameplay that CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett says “encapsulates the complexities of a global pandemic response and highlights how crucial international collaboration is needed to address such a threat.”