The coronavirus is very much a real epidemic that is occurring in China, and in other places around the world as we speak. This has had the bizarre knock-on effect of inflating the player base of Plague Inc., prompting the developers to issue a statement about how the game is not meant to be a real reflection of how diseases can be spread.
The coronavirus is currently front-page news across the world, as over twenty people have died in China as a result of the virus. The city of Wuhan has been sealed-off, as lunar new year celebrations around the country have been canceled in an attempt to stop (or at least curb) the spread of the virus.
Related: Petition To Add Anti-Vaxxers To Plague Inc. Reaches Its Goal; Developers Say They’ll Do It
Plague Inc. is a strategy game where the player tries to infect the entire world with a disease, with the intention of killing or enslaving humanity. The game has been around since 2012, but it always sees a resurgence of interest whenever there are real-life issues relating to the spread of disease. The coronavirus situation in China has prompted the developers to issue a statement on Twitter, informing players that the game shouldn’t be seen as a realistic emulator of how an epidemic works and that people should seek actual information from health organizations if they want to know more about the coronavirus.
The reason the statement was released is that Plague Inc. saw a huge increase in sales in China. The coronavirus is the biggest news story in China at the moment and it’s possible that this caused a spike in interest in the game, but the developers want to make sure that people aren’t trying to rely on Plague Inc. for information about the epidemic.
It’s never wise to look to video games for information about real-life issues, but there are likely a lot of people scared about the effects of the coronavirus in China, so it makes sense for the developers to want to make sure that people aren’t taking the game too seriously.
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