With this week's launch of Plague Inc.: Evolved on Steam Early Access, players will be able to help shape the continued development of cooperative and competitive multiplayer campaigns - a new feature for the game that began as a mobile title in 2012.
Fan-feedback is already crucial to the game's Windows PC release, Ndemic Creations founder James Vaughan told Polygon. In order to avoid simply porting the mobile game to the Steam platform, Vaughan has re-created Plague Inc. from scratch using "almost half a million pieces of feedback and feature requests from players which comes in handy," he tells us. According to the developer, he is still only 50 percent of the way through the original Plague Inc. design docuument written in 2012.
"Overcoming the mobile stigma on the other hand will be brutally hard," says Vaughan. "Players are rightly suspicious of mobile games coming to Steam as they are often just straight ports of touchscreen games at inflated prices - maybe in higher resolution! However, I haven't done this. With Plague Inc: Evolved - I have developed the game from scratch to take advantage of everything the PC can offer - players get new 3D graphics and features like cooperative / competitive multiplayer, a scenario creator and loads more."
Vaughan acknowledges just how much this mobile stigma can influence a user's decision to purchase a game. As a result, the designer says he strategically underpriced the game knowing its mobile roots could be an issue.
"I started off by looking at the price points of other high quality, premium indie titles which offer gameplay with significant replayability. The price point here tends to be $20-$30. Although I felt that the game was worth this much, due to the mobile stigma - I didn't think that price would go down very well..."
Plague Inc.: Evolved is currently priced at $14.99 on Steam. While the original mobile release cost only $0.99, Vaughan took into account the release of later expansion packs costing $6.99. "These expansion packs are included on PC which means that on Steam a player is only paying an additional $7.00 for all the significant features that PC gets like multiplayer, scenario creator, 3D graphics and lots more."
Further features will also be added for free following the game's official launch out of Early Access.
The game came to Steam Early Access only yesterday. Check out our feature covering the development of the Plague Inc. mobile release and how the game itself went viral.