Plague Inc. was released back in 2012, and at the time, it was a perfectly fun little strategy game that was as charming as it was devilish: you played the bad guy, the virus, as you tried to infect as much of the human population as possible. It was always a rather “edgy” premise, but it wasn’t that much more outlandish than any other game where you play the bad guy, and it lead to a shockingly large community of people who got really invested in the ‘culture’ the game provided, pun very much intended.
These days, it’s not quite as innocent.
Well, no one can accuse the folks at Plague Inc. for being insensitive, so while they haven’t pulled down their game or anything (unless they’re legally obligated to, like in China), they have decided to add a brand-new mode to the game that flips the script: turning you into the good guy trying to stop a pandemic from spreading.
The new mode, which will be released free for all players, will ask you to contain a pandemic that’s exploding across the globe. You’ll be managing healthcare systems, juggling quarantines, triages, enforcing social distancing, and closing down public services. Interestingly, they’ll be working together with the experts at the World Health Organization to make sure it’s as authentic as possible.
It’s pretty cool when games release big free updates in any situation, but creating something like this, which is both timely and informative of the current situation, is far better. There’s no timeline as for when we can expect this new content to be released, but I have a hunch – a very unhappy one, but a hunch all the same – that by the time it’s released, this will still be a very relevant update to the game.
At least Madagascar will be safe, probably.