Plague Inc, a game in which the player assumes the role of a pandemic virus with the goal of wiping out mankind on a global scale, has been removed from all app stores in China. According to a statement made by the China App Store on behalf of Ndemic Creations, Plague Inc was removed following an evaluation from the Cyberspace Administration of China due to the game's inclusion of content deemed illegal in China.
The full statement reads as follows:
"We have some very sad news to share with our China based players. We've just been informed that Plague Inc. “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China” and has been removed from the China App Store. This situation is completely out of our control.
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 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.
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.
We will share more information about our efforts to support the fight against COVID-19 soon. You can find our statement on the current coronavirus outbreak here.
Based on the statement, it seems that Ndemic Creations and its associated parties are unclear on which aspects of Plague Inc are deemed illegal, and are looking to reach out to the Cyberspace Administration of China for clarification on the issue. This report will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.