Plague Inc. Removed from Sale In China

Plague Inc. removed from App Store in China

Given the timing of the removal, it seems highly unlikely that the removal of Plague Inc. from the Chinese App Store amidst a massive virus outbreak in the country is just a coincidence.

The studio added it wasn't clear that the removal was related to the COVID19 novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China late a year ago.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, the removal comes after Apple agreed to enforce China's regulations demanding all gaming apps have to be licensed.

The game's creator, Ndemic Creations, said the game was pulled citing "content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China".

However, the company said its "educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the Cyberspace Administration of China and we are now working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control Covid-19". The outlet also reports that Plague Inc. now has a "fake news" mode, in addition to the addition of anti-vaxxers from back in March past year.

But as noted by analyst Daniel Ahmad, the game was never properly licensed to launch in China: as an eight-year-old game, it was released before the licensing requirements ever came into place.


The concept may sound morbid in light of the new coronavirus strain, COVID-19, which has claimed more than 2,700 lives. The other game by the devs, Rebel Inc., also remains available on all platforms in and outside of the country.

The team goes on to say, "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 solution".

Though the devs do provide a disclaimer that reads "as a tiny independent games studio in the United Kingdom, the odds are stacked against us".

"We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalizing serious real-world issues", the mobile developers said in a blog post on its website at the time.

Recently, the game topped Apple's app store chart in China.

Plague Inc., the real-time strategy sim about pandemics, has been abruptly removed from the Chinese App Store - and it's still unclear as to why. "We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities".

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