Plague Inc. is working on a new mode that will put players on the side of healthcare workers and governments working against a global pandemic, which is the opposite of your usual goal in the disease simulator game.
Developer Ndemic Creations said it's "accelerating work" on the new game mode in response to requests from both the World Health Organization and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Ndemic was already talking to the two groups because it just split a donation of $250,000 between them to aid their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's also using their feedback in the creation of 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," Ndemic explained. "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 disease-fighting update for Plague Inc. will be made free for all players during the pandemic. While Plague Inc. has been available in various incarnations for eight years, its popularity has surged in recent months along with the spread of the viral outbreak. The developers have even gone out of their way to remind players that it's meant to be a game, "not a scientific model", albeit a game that tries to be realistic and informative when possible.
You should still be able to play as the disease itself in the game's standard mode once the update goes live, though fighting against a pandemic will hopefully make for a more uplifting challenge at this particular point in time.
See what else is on the horizon with our guide to the best upcoming games of 2020 and beyond.