People in China will no longer be able to find Plague Inc. in the App Store. Developer Ndemic Creations revealed it has been removed. The Cyberspace Administration of China claims the simulation, which allows people to attempt to create a virus and spread it around the world, “includes content that is illegal in China.” The delisting only applies to mainland China.
Ndemic Creations issued a statement about the Plague Inc situation in China. It noted that it isn’t even sure if this is linked to the coronavirus, an illness that has pushed back the release of movies and caused developers to pull out of events. The Cyberspace Administration of China did not offer any details about what is supposedly “illegal.”
Here is Ndemic Creation’s official statement.
Plague Inc. is a huge critical and commercial success. Eight years old and with over 130 million players, it’s the #1 strategy/simulation game worldwide and has been the most popular paid game in China for many years. Plague Inc. stands out as an intelligent and sophisticated simulation that encourages players to think and learn more about serious public health issues. We have a huge amount of respect for our Chinese players and are devastated that they are no longer able to access and play Plague Inc.
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 recognized by organizations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organizations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.
We are working very hard to try and find a way to get the game back in the hands of Chinese players–we don’t want to give up on you–however, as a tiny independent games studio in the UK, the odds are stacked against us. Our immediate priority is to try and make contact with the Cyberspace Administration of China to understand their concerns and work with them to find a resolution.
Nothing is changing outside of mainland China: we will continue to support and update both Plague Inc. and our newest game, Rebel Inc., on all platforms whilst also working hard to try and find a way to bring Plague Inc. back to players in China.
Plague Inc. is available on Android and Apple iOS devices, though it is no longer in China’s App Store. Plague Inc: Evolved is available on PCs.