Drawn Pandemic Digital Board Game
Developer Asmodee Digital is removing the digital edition of the cooperative board game Pandemic from online stores and plans to remove other versions soon.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had some interesting effects on people’s diets. While some have understandably shunned media depicting global disease outbreaks, 2020 has seen a surge in interest in games, shows, and movies dealing with this topic. This included popular mobile games like Plague Inc. and the cooperative board game Pandemic.
So some might be surprised to find the digital edition of Pandemic disappear from online storefronts. Reddit users noted its absence from Steam and the App Store earlier today, with developer Asmodee Digital confirming the game’s removal.
Reddit user bad_boy_barry seems to have been among the first to ask about Pandemic removal from Steam, App Store and Google Play. They emailed the developer’s customer support and received official confirmation that the game was removed from all three platforms. Additionally, Asmodee revealed plans to pull the game from the Xbox storefront on July 31 and the Switch “at the end of July.” So if anyone wants to pick up Pandemic on either platform, now seems like the last opportunity to do so. Notably, the Xbox/PC version is currently free for Game Pass subscribers.
To clarify, anyone who owns Pandemic can still play the game. Asmodee’s email also states that players can still download it from their Steam, App Store, and Google Play libraries. However, removing it means that Pandemic will not receive any future updates. This is especially a problem for Android and iOS players, as future OS updates may eventually render it unplayable.
Naturally, the bigger question is why Asmodee decided to pull the popular tabletop game from digital storefronts. Unfortunately, company email isn’t much help in this regard. According to the seemingly automatic response, “This decision was made with a heavy heart for a multitude of reasons that we cannot disclose.” Understandably, fans were unhappy with the studio’s cryptic response, leading to speculation as to what those reasons might be.
One possibility is that Asmodee is trying to be sensitive regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, board game publisher Z-Man Games postponed future editions of Legacy of the pandemic precisely for this reason. However, players can still purchase physical copies of Pandemic and its various consequences. Also, if that’s the reason, one might wonder why Asmodee didn’t release the digital version of Pandemic at any time during the past two years.
Another hypothesis suggests that Asmodee plans to replace it with a new all-inclusive version similar to Universe of Catania. If so, this would create a single application for Pandemic, its expansions and spin-offs like Heritage, hot zone, and Fall of Rome. However, this may be wishful thinking, as Asmodee Digital has yet to announce such a project.
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