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'Plague Inc.' Developer Warns Players After Coronavirus Outbreak Boosts Sales

'Plague Inc.' Developer Warns Players After Coronavirus Outbreak Boosts Sales

"Please remember that ​Plague Inc.​ is a game."

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

No doubt you're already aware of the Coronavirus outbreak that's caused such chaos and panic in China. As medical professionals continue to work to contain the virus, the rest of the world has looked on, unsure as to how quickly it could spread and how much damage it might cause.

In the face of all this uncertainty, the people of China have turned to an unlikely source for guidance and advice. Outbreak management sim Plague Inc. has, somehow, become the place China has flocked to to learn more about how viruses mutate and spread.

Plague Inc. /
Ndemic Creations

If you've never heard of Plague Inc. before, it's a popular (and fairly accurate) strategy game that invites players to simulate the outbreak of a disease. The ultimate goal is to wipe out all human life and spread across the globe before a cure or vaccine can be manufactured.

To be fair, you can see why people might look to it as a source of info at a time like this. As of last week, Downloads for Plague Inc. soared in China, with the game has climbing to the very top of the country's app store.

Ndemic Creations, the studio behind Plague Inc., has since responded to the news that the Coronavirus outbreak caused its sales to spike. Obviously, the developer is very happy with the increase in sales and interest of the game, but it's issued a warning to those who intend to rely on it as a learning tool.

"Plague Inc. has been out for eight years now and whenever there is an outbreak of disease we see an increase in players, as people seek to find out more about how diseases spread and to understand the complexities of viral outbreaks," the developer wrote.

"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."

Just in time for the election
Just in time for the election

"However, please 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. We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities."

At the time of writing, the Coronavirus outbreak has claimed the lives of 81 people, with nearly 3,000 confirmed cases. The city of Wuhan remains in lockdown, while a number of other cities have imposed travel bans to contain the spread.

Featured Image Credit: Ndemic Creations