The game Plague Inc., which lets you simulate a global pandemic, has been exploding in popularity ever since the coronavirus outbreak in China made headlines. However, the game’s developer is reminding players to avoid duping themselves into thinking they’ve suddenly become pandemic experts.
“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,” said the maker of Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations.
On Thursday, the developer issued the statement, noting that both the media and players have been bombarding Ndemic Creations with questions as the game’s popularity has skyrocketed amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In the last week, Plague Inc.’s ranking on the iOS app store has vaulted up the charts to the number one paid gaming app in both China and the US, according to analytics firm App Annie.
However, Ndemic Creations said the game’s sudden spike in popularity was nothing new. “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 said.
Indeed, the game focuses on the player creating a disease to wipe out humanity. You’re goal is to not only infect every person on the planet, but also defeat government efforts to prevent the disease from entering their borders as they create a cure. As a result, the gameplay eerily mirrors the current situation with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China, but has now begun spreading to other countries, including the US, despite attempts to contain it.
Although Ndemic Creations’ intent was to create a “realistic and informative” game, the developer never sought to sensationalize serious real-world issues. “We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities,” it said while posting a link to the World Health Organization’s website on the coronavirus outbreak.