Developer Ndemic Creations recently received the news Plague Inc. was removed from the Chinese application store. At the moment the app still is available around the globe. At this point, while Ndemic has released a statement on the matter, there still isn't a clear reason as to why Chinese gamers can no longer get their hands on this virus simulation title.
Ndemic Creations' real-time plague simulator allows players to control a pathogen's spread, development, symptoms, and fatality. Once you wipe out the entire human population, you win. However, Plague Inc. isn't that simple as the amount of information on the differences between various pathogens, how they develop, and how governments start their cure research gives you a unique educational angle to the topic.
The studio released a statement explaining it was a sudden removal with no direct reason given from the Cyberspace Administration of China. It decided Plague Inc. features "illegal [content] in China," and subsequently removed it from Steam as well as of March 2nd. The initial removal only affected the Chinese app store.
Ndemic Creations believe it is in relation to the outbreak and severe cases in China specifically, however, they mention the numerous times Plague Inc. was used an educational material to raise awareness on spreading diseases. They promised to share more details on how they plan to incorporate more informational material on the Coronavirus in-game.
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.
Developer Ndemic Creations recently released their second title, Rebel Inc., putting players in the shoes of a country's ruler right after a war. You are tasked with balancing rebuilding your political and military power alongside meeting civilian needs to "win the hearts and minds of the people." Let us know what you think of the recent expulsion of Plague Inc. from the Chinese store.
This story was updated on March 3rd to reflect the recent ban on PC alongside the Chinese app store.