Nearly two weeks after the digital version of the Pandemic board game was quietly delisted from Steam for seemingly no reason, developer Asmodee Digital and publisher Z-Man have finally released a statement explaining their decision. Though some contemplated the decision was due to the impact of COVID-19, Asmodee’s statement claims an alternate reasoning.
“The Pandemic app was released 9 years ago, and we no longer feel the current quality and reliability of the game is on par with what Pandemic deserves on digital platforms,” Asmodee said. “The time has come to make way for the digital future of Pandemic. ”
Asmodee clarified that current owners of Pandemic will not be impacted, and can still download and play the game. A multiplayer version of Pandemic has also remained available on Board Game Arena (which Asmodee owns) despite the delisting.
“We are truly thankful to the whole Pandemic community for their awesome support and involvement over these last years,” Asmodee continued. “Stay tuned!”
Asmodee’s statement implies that Pandemic’s digital version will continue to exist in some form in the future, perhaps an updated version. It’s possible that, since the original digital version released nearly a decade ago, it was due for a cosmetic and structural makeover.
In early 2020, a giveaway of Pandemic on the Epic Games Store was canceled. It was assumed at the time to be a matter of sensitivity thanks to the emergence of COVID-19, but Asmodee’s most recent comment seems to imply the two decisions are unrelated.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.