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Factcheck: Did Bill Gates create an 'Omicron' video game in 1999?

A number of social media posts have linked Gates – and Microsoft – to the sci-fi game, suggesting Gates was in some way complicit in orchestrating the Covid-19 pandemic.

POSTS BEING SHARED on social media have linked a video game called Omicron to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, claiming his company created it in 1999.

The posts, which have been shared on Twitter (by more than one thousand users), Facebook and on Tiktok state that the video game is “about demons pretending to be humans and harvesting their souls”. 

Some users posting these claims are suggesting Gates was in some way complicit in orchestrating the Covid-19 pandemic or that he is involved in a scheme to implant microchips through Covid vaccines.

The claim: Did Microsoft (or Bill Gates) create a video game called Omicron in 1999, which was about demons pretending to be humans and harvesting their souls?

The evidence

It is true that a video game called Omikron: The Nomad Soul – spelled with a “k”, rather than a “c” – was created in the late 90s. However it was not developed by Microsoft, or Bill Gates.

The game was built by a French developer Quantic Dream, which had no connection to Microsoft, and was released on 2 November 1999.

It was published on the Microsoft Windows platform at the time, but neither Gates nor his company were involved in the development.

The game, which can still be purchased on the website of its publisher Square Enix, features this description:

I have many things to tell you and very little time I come from a universe parallel to yours. My world is desperately in need of your help. Only YOU can save us.

Source: Square Enix

The adventure storyline game involves both shooting and combat, with an original soundtrack by David Bowie and Reeves Gabriels. Players travel to another dimension, entering the dark and futuristic city of Omikron where they battle frightening demons. 

It was not particularly well-reviewed at the time of its release. 

Some social media users responding to the posts – in jest – have pointed out that Omicron was also the name of an Italian science-fiction comedy film released in 1963. The plot of the movie is of an alien that takes over the body of a dead factory worker in order to learn about the human race and planet Earth.

Bill Gates, who was eight-years-old when it was released, did not have any connection to this film either. 

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In May this year the World Health Organization (WHO) assigned labels for key variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, using letters of the Greek alphabet. 

The WHO had said people often resort to calling variants by the places where they are detected, which is “stigmatising and discriminatory”. The new naming system was designed to avoid this and simplify public communications about new variants.

The first named variant of concern was called Alpha and the most recent dominant variant of concern in Ireland – before Omicron arrived – was Delta. 

Verdict

While a video game called Omikron was created in the late 90s, it was not created by Microsoft or Bill Gates.

We rate this claim: FALSE.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.

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