The coronavirus crisis has been ongoing for several weeks now, and it's not surprising to see that some coronavirus games are being created by game developers. What is surprising, however, is that many of these titles are educational works.
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad highlighted four coronavirus games that have been created by game developers in a Twitter thread. Here's a quick breakdown of the titles highlighted by him.
Battle of Pathogens
This is essentially a clone of Fruit Ninja created by Bytedance in partnership with the People's Daily and Haiden District Committee in Beijing, China. Players have to swipe the screen to destroy incoming germs. The successful completion of each level gives the player helpful health advice.
Eradicate the Bacteria
This puzzle-solving game has 40 levels and requires the player to accomplish the correct order of tasks in order to progress. It was created by the game publishing working committee of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association in partnership with local game developers.
People's War - Mobilise Against the Epidemic
This is a simple quiz game that asks players questions about the coronavirus and requires them to choose correctly from two answers. Players who select the wrong answer are eliminated by a cartoon steamroller. This one was created by People's Daily and Pook in a joint effort.
Retrograde is an interactive story game created by the indie developer Ace Games. Their team of 60 developers busted their butts and hammered this game out in just 15 days to bring these stories to fruition.
Notably, several of these games were sponsored by local government organizations and other groups, so it seems like this wasn't entirely an organic effort. Still, these coronavirus games can serve as a good vehicle to educating the populace about the dangers of the virus and safe practices, so hopefully, they'll have some sort of positive effect on the players.
The Coronavirus Games Highlight Growing Challenges in China
Mr. Ahmad also mentioned a recent report by Niko Partners released just a couple of weeks ago. Titled "Gaming in China: Lunar New Year and the Coronavirus Outbreak", the report highlights the changes that have happened in China due to the outbreak. Unsurprisingly, mobile gaming is up and internet cafe usage is down.
The creation of these coronavirus games hasn't been the only effect on the gaming industry lately. Plague Inc. had a surge in popularity following the outbreak, echoing the increase in mobile and pc gaming. There have been effects felt in the West, too — the upcoming Nintendo Switch port of The Outer Worlds has been delayed due to the outbreak and the Epic Games Store pushed back a planned giveaway of Pandemic.
What do you think of coronavirus games being created by game developers? Do you think edutainment experiences like this can be helpful in such a crisis? Let us know in the comments below!