Sales of the popular disease simulation game Plague Inc. have skyrocketed as players started using the game to better understand how diseases spread across countries. UK-based gaming studio Ndemic Creations have seen its real-time strategy game become the best-selling app in China where the novel coronavirus (nCov) originated.
Plague Inc. allows players to create a deadly disease and attempt to wipe out the global population before scientists discover a cure. The game already has more than 50 million downloads on Google Play and is also available on Steam as Plague Inc: Evolved.
James Vaughn, the creator of Plague Inc., however, tells players that it’s just “a game, not a scientific model” and reminds everyone to get their information about the coronavirus from health authorities.
“The coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we’ve received a lot of questions from players and the media,” Vaughan said. “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.”
“We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalizing serious real-world issues. This has been recognized by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world. However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the coronavirus 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,” Vaughn added.
The creators of Plague Inc. also directed players to the World Health Organization website to get more information about nCov.
According to the latest reports, 213 people have already died from nCov with nearly 10,000 cases of the virus.