Community Spotlight: Plague Inc's 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' update

With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes now in theaters, Plague Inc. is releasing its movie tie-in add-on called the Simian Flu update. The update releases a new lethal pandemic into the world, giving players a chance to control entire communities of intelligent apes in the process.

To learn more about the new update, which is now available across the game's PC, Mac, iOS, and Android versions, Shacknews spoke to Ndemic Studios founder James Vaughan (also known as Chatty's jamiejme).

Shacknews: What does the Simian Flu update for Plague Inc and Plague Inc: Evolved entail?

James Vaughan: It adds the Simian Flu plague type, a major piece of exciting new content for the game which changes everything and lets players play in the world of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and master new strategies. Officially, the Simian Flu is a genetically modified virus created in a lab. It has been found to increase intelligence in apes, but mutates rapidly and is untested on humans.

Sounds safe to me!

Shacknews: How did this collaboration come about?

Vaughan: I've always wanted to do a high-quality movie tie-in with Plague Inc - normally movie/game tie-ins are crap, and represent such a waste of potential. I wanted to do it properly. I have been talking to a number of film studios since Plague Inc. launched, and it was really cool to manage to get this partnership with Fox sorted. The two brands fit together so naturally and complement each other perfectly.

Shacknews: You briefly mentioned that Plague Inc was inspired by Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Would you like to elaborate on that story and how the movie made you want to create the game?

Vaughan: I was already working on Plague Inc. by the time I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so it wasn't directly responsible but it did inspire me during development. In particular, I found the closing scenes of the film which show the Simian Flu beginning to spread around the world very powerful. Sofia (the graphics artist) even used that style in some of our concept art! It is fantastic to now be able to incorporate elements of the Planet of the Apes into Plague Inc. - still can't really believe it!

Shacknews: Plague Inc: Evolved was revealed as an upcoming Xbox One title. How is that version of the game coming along and how close is it to a finished state?

Vaughan: It is all going really well but I'm afraid we are not in a position to share a release date yet. Once the Steam version comes out of Early Access then we will start to share more news.

Shacknews: What kind of helpful feedback for the Steam Early Access build have you received from both customers and Chatty posters alike? Have you made any changes based on that feedback?

Vaughan: Feedback from the fans has been so important to Plague Inc. ever since I first released the game, I couldn't have made the it as good as it is without it! As well as helping with gameplay and difficulty decisions (such as what difficulty you should play on to unlock diseases) - its also great to get more creative input. Players have provided photos of key cities which will be 'plague-ified' and featured in game and one thing that's been really fun has been our recent news competition which asked players to suggest news stories to be featured in the game. One that tickled me was "Jogger smiles at camera, becomes popular" and it is now live in game.

Plague Inc. is available now through the App Store and Google Play store. Plague Inc. Evolved is currently on PC through Steam Early Access.