A planned Pandemic Epic Games Store release has been delayed "to a later date".
VGC reports that the Epic Games Store will no longer be offering the game Pandemic as part of their suite of free games this week. The game was originally planned to be given away alongside digital versions of the tabletop games Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride, but those plans have since been shelved.
"We’ve shifted the release of Pandemic as a free game in our store schedule to a later date," an Epic Games spokesman told VGC.
"Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne will still be available as the free games of the week from February 6 – February 13," the spokesman added.
If you happen to be unfamiliar with Pandemic, the game focuses on a disease control team trying to contain the spread of multiple deadly viruses around the world. Players must get containment teams on the ground to enact a quarantine while also researching a cure for the virus in an effort to stop it from killing too many people.
Why was the Pandemic Epic Games Store Release Pushed Back?
No further explanation was given for the delay in the Pandemic Epic Games Store release. The store page for the game has also since been removed, likely a temporary measure.
While Epic Games did not explicitly state the reason for the removal, the most straightforward speculation is that it has to do with the sensitivity surrounding the coronavirus currently spreading in China and showing up in small numbers in other world locations.
The spread of the coronavirus has had some effects on the gaming world, both in real-world terms and in terms of digital content. Plague Inc. (another game on the topic of spreading viruses, although from the other side of the equation) grew in popularity on the Chinese App Store in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. As for real-world effects, two of the four Chinese Overwatch League teams are relocating their players to South Korea and canceling planned games in the country as there is currently a ban on large gatherings of people.
The delay of Pandemic's release on the Epic Games Store might be a downer for some, but you can still look forward to Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride debuting on Thursday, February 6, 2020. For now, you can grab Farming Simulator 19 for free at the Epic Games Store. If you're not keen on waiting for Pandemic to show up on the Epic Store, you can pick it up on Steam at the price of $9.99 or your regional equivalent.
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What do you think of Pandemic's release on the Epic Games Store being pushed back? Are you disappointed that this game is being delayed on that platform? Let us know in the comments below!