“We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real world issues. This has been recognised by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world. However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the Coronavirus is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people.”
The real-world virus outbreak also brought out the black humor in gamers. 2012’s Plague Inc. — where players evolve a pathogen to wipe out humanity — is now China’s top paid iOS game. https://t.co/JdYrVJzwZX pic.twitter.com/inJ5jGvEJ2
— Zheping Huang (@pingroma) January 22, 2020
The BBC reports that Plague Inc. became the best-selling app in China’s version of the Apple Store on Wednesday, as tens of millions of people were placed under lockdown across the country – with all public transport in and out of the city of Wuhan suspended in an attempt to halt the outbreak.
All the Big Games Coming in 2020
In recent days, the coronavirus has spread from Wuhan to a number of Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea and Japan, with more than 800 people now infected by the disease globally – although WHO has clarified the risk of becoming infected with the virus in the U.S. is low, as reported by NPR.
As a further preventative measure, China has temporarily closed 70,000 movie theaters as several distributors cancelled their biggest movie releases ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year, which traditionally marks a high season at the box office.
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.