Plague Inc. finds itself in an awkward time to promote the world’s demise. To make up for that, Ndemic Creations, the UK-based creator and publisher of the game, is donating $250,000 to help with the fight against coronavirus COVID-19. The donation will be split between two funds: the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Additionally, upon request from the WHO and CEPI, Plague Inc. will receive an update that, rather than trying to wipe out humanity with a pandemic, will challenge players to stop an outbreak.
Plague Inc. creator speaks out
James Vaughan created Plague Inc. eight years ago. Of course, he couldn’t have known what was about to happen nearly a decade later: “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,” he said. “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.”
The CEO of CEPI, Dr. Richard Hatchett, also chimed in: “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. Games have an important role in raising awareness of the challenges the world is currently facing. Only through a concerted, global response—with the private sector working together with Governments and philanthropies, pooling resources and expertise—can we hope to stop such emerging epidemic threats.”
But it doesn’t just stop there. While it is already possible to donate to WHO’s COVID-19 fund, players will soon also find its promotion in Plague Inc. itself.
A new in-game update coming soon
As Ndemic Creations worked with WHO and CEPI, they were asked if, rather than causing an outbreak, the prevention of an outbreak was also possible. This will soon become a reality in an update, where players will have to work with a number of things to save the world. These include quarantining, closing public services, boosting healthcare systems, and more. The update is being developed in cooperation with WHO’s experts, among others.
As long as the pandemic lasts, the update will be free for all players. The Plague Inc. team will share more information “as soon as they can.”