Update: Plague Inc. is now unavailable on Steam in mainland China, following its removal from the iOS App Store last week.
The game had previously been trending in China, likely due to the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. At the time, the reason for its removal cited was “illegal content”.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 2, 2020
Original Story: Viral simulation game Plague Inc. has been removed from the China App Store, amid the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus.
Developer Ndemic Creations has confirmed the game’s removal from China’s App Store in a blog post today.
“We have some very sad news to share with our China based players. We’ve just been informed that Plague Inc. “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China” and has been removed from the China App Store,” reads the post. “This situation is completely out of our control.”
“It’s not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing. However, Plague Inc.’s educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.”
Ndemic will continue to support and update Plague Inc. outside of mainland China, where it is still available to purchase online, and will attempt to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China to resolve the situation.
We’re really sad to announce that Plague Inc. has been removed from the China App Store. This is completely out of our control and we are working to find a way to bring the game back to our players in China. Our statement here: https://t.co/oYkHHkMbgw pic.twitter.com/5wQ93NsCKw
— Plague Inc. / Rebel Inc. (@NdemicCreations) February 27, 2020
Plague Inc. is a strategy game that lets you simulate the outbreak of a disease. The goal is to end all human life, and the player has to use all means possible to spread the virus around the globe before a cure is created. The game relies on real-word scenarios and can be used as a way of understanding how viruses spread.
Last month, sales of Plague Inc. received a boost in the wake of early reports of the coronavirus.
“[p]lease remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people,” the studio said at the time. “We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities.”