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

As a new coronavirus spreads around the world, an app that asks players to wipe out humanity has shot to the top of the charts

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12:57 AM HKT, Thu January 23, 2020

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.


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.”

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