That's a hard pivot.

180 Degrees

In a total pivot, the game "Plague Inc" is launching a new mode called "The Cure," where the player works to stop a global pandemic instead of starting one.

Typically, the point of the game is to design a deadly disease. But given the COVID-19 pandemic, game developer Ndemic Creations decided to make a version that's more, well, appropriate to our current reality, The Verge reports. Ndemic clarified that the game is not a real scientific model, but that it is grounded in expert advice, putting the player in a realistic simulation of a pandemic response team.

Changing Sides

That last distinction is important, as the game found itself in a tricky position when the pandemic began. Back in January, Ndemic Creations had to put out a reminder that the game is not a reliable source of information about disease transmission. The same holds true for the new game mode, though developers hope it's at least somewhat informative.

"Eight years ago, I never imagined the real world would come to resemble a game of Plague Inc. or that my game would be in a position to help educate and inform people," Ndemic Creations James Vaughn said in a press release.

Practice, Perfect

Now, instead of mutating a disease to cause more symptoms or cross a national border undetected, players will develop vaccines, launch contact tracing programs, and fund scientific research.

The new game mode will be free "until COVID-19 is under control," Vaughn said in the release. It's already available on iOS and Android, with future releases planned for PC and consoles.

READ MORE: Plague Inc. now has a free mode where you fight a pandemic [The Verge]

More on Plague Inc: As Coronavirus Looms, China Bans Videogame "Plague Inc"

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