Ndemic Creations has published a statement in response to the surge of Plague Inc. sales triggered by the current coronavirus outbreak (via Polygon).
When the new coronavirus outbreak hit the headlines, the developer noted a rise in the strategy game’s sales, which is expected. This week Plague Inc. was the most-downloaded paid game on iOS in China and reached sixth place in the overall mobile game charts in China. There is often a spike in player counts when diseases are reported—as people are interested in how viruses are transmitted—and, on January 24, the game was pulled offline, as it could not cope with the sheer number of players. Plague Inc. was intended to be “a tool to teach the public about outbreaks and disease transmission,” but Ndemic Creations would like to remind its players about the realities of the coronavirus outbreak.
Almost 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 82 deaths have been counted in China, and cases have been reported in Australia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam. “We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues,” said the developer. “This has been recognised by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world.”