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Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak, This App Makes a Chart-Topping Comeback


The outbreak of a strange new coronavirus in China’s Wuhan has caused one strategy game — like a resilient infection — to make an unexpected comeback.


Coronavirus Memes are Going Viral in China

Originally launched by UK-based studio Ndemic Creations nearly seven years ago, Plague Inc. recently saw a spike in player numbers right as the Wuhan virus started to spread, eventually landing the top spot in the nation’s iOS App Store charts.

The game requires players to develop a pathogen, winning when they rid the planet of all human life.

The timing of Plague Inc.’s rise is generating amusement across social media.

Ndemic Creations plague inc 2012

Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations

“Seriously,” wrote one Douban user. “Watching the news recently feels a bit like Plague Inc.…and my experience tells me that Greenland would be safer right now??”

Other netizens admired the educational nature of the game. Weibo influencer Youxijun posted, “The game asks us to destroy the world with a pathogen, but is in fact educating us on science, and teaching us how to confront it should we fall sick.”

Elsbeth van Paridon
Sinologist Elsbeth van Paridon is an aficionada of fashion and urban culture. Deeply devoted to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon also reports on trends in her own publications “The China Temper” and “China Under The Radar“.
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