Save the world from a pandemic in the next 'Plague, Inc.' update

The simulation game has surged in popularity due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Plague, Inc. lets you become a mad scientist. You design a pathogen and release it upon the world, trigger certain evolutionary traits and -- if all goes according to plan -- wipe out the human race. The game came out eight years ago, but the relevance of the game during real-life events like the current coronavirus pandemic and the ebola outbreak of 2013 keep bringing people back for more. To help make the game a little less morbid, Ndemic Creations will add a new mode to Plague, Inc. that lets you take on the opposite role and save the world from a global disease. The designers are working with the World Health Organization, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and other groups to create an informative experience. Though a release date hasn't been announced, the update will be free for all players.

The new mode could be seen as a hopeful message during a bleak time, and Ndemic is doubling down by donating $250,000 to efforts hoping to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The funds will be split between the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Hopefully this update will prove players with a more optimistic glimpse into how pathogens spread -- and an entertaining way to pass the time.