A viral tweet claims Microsoft and Bill Gates created a video game titled “Omicron” in 1999.
“Omicron” was the name of a 1999 video game by Microsoft (Bill Gates) about demons pretending to be humans and harvesting their souls…. I’ll just leave that right here…
— Tania The Herbalist (@taniatheherblst) December 1, 2021
“Omikron: The Nomad Soul” was not created by Microsoft or Gates.
The claim about Microsoft and Gates creating a 1999 video game titled “Omicron” has circulated across social media amid the omicron variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreading globally. A video game titled “Omikron: The Nomad Soul” does exist; however, it was not made by Microsoft or Gates.
French video game developer Quantic Dream created “Omikron: The Nomad Soul,” and it was published by Eidos Interactive, according to Game Spot. It was released on Microsoft Windows in 1999 and on Dreamcast in 2000, per tweets from Quantic Dream’s verified Twitter account. (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Patent A ‘CV19-N95’ Face Mask Design Years Before The COVID-19 Pandemic?)
Here’s how the platform Steam describes “Omikron: The Nomad Soul”: “Responding to the desperate pleas of a mysterious character from another dimension, your soul must enter the dark and futuristic city of Omikron. This heralds the beginning of an epic adventure through an increasingly strange and dazzling parallel world, trying to solve the many puzzles that prevent you escaping alive. Think, fight and interact with the immense gaming environment to defeat the menacing demons that have tried to trap you.”
In addition to “Omikron: The Nomad Soul” not being developed by Microsoft or Gates, the title of the game spells “omikron” differently than the coronavirus variant’s name, omicron. The World Health Organization (WHO) started assigning letters of the Greek alphabet to variants of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, back in May.
The B.1.1.529 variant was assigned as omicron, the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet, after South African scientists first reported the variant in late November, according to The New York Times. About 73 percent of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the week ending Dec. 18 were the omicron variant, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.