Big Pharma does a great job of packaging up one of the biggest modern ethical dilemmas - the creation, distribution and pricing of mass-market drugs - as an elegant puzzle-management game. Pushing that even further is the newest expansion which brings marketing into the mix, as well as trying to, ahem, convince doctors that your drug is the best. Sometimes it’s a little faster and cheaper to spend on a nice bottle of wine than the ingredients to make that actually true. To celebrate this, the game’s going cheap on Steam for the next day.
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Let this trailer explain all the pseudo-evils you can get up to:
This all plays out in game with a set of new options to fiddle with numbers and maximise profits. They break down like this:
- Executives in your marketing department allow you to buy gifts for doctors, oversee and modify clinical trials and run disease awareness campaigns. All of these have possible up- and downsides based on a number of factors, such as ruining your reputation when a ‘favour’ isn’t well-received or a boost after you convince everyone in the country only you can save them from Grotty Tongue Syndrome.
- Manual pricing lets you undercut opposition - hooray! - or get extortionate when you’re the only game in town - not so hooray! You could also actually price fairly for the best of both worlds but, honestly, who's got the time?
- New production line tools for a number of tasks, letting you have more efficient production. This includes the mentioned booster effects that add to sales, if not drug effectiveness.
- Perks chosen at the start of a game to define how you want to play that run.
There’s loads more on top of all that of course, and the expansion will only set you back $5.99 / £4.16 on Steam. A bunch more info on what’s included in the store description.
As for the base game, it’s 40% off at £11.39 / $14.99 / €13.79 until mid-Friday. An additional patch has already been issued after the release of the expansion a few days back, fixing bugs and keeping things consistent with the added features in Marketing and Malpractice.