Plague Inc. "is a game, not a scientific model", developer warns

Alex Walker discusses the spike in sales for Plague Inc. as the coronavirus outbreak worsens.

Alex Walker
8th February 2020
Plague Inc. creator James Vaughn has been forced to comment on a major spike in sales of the Ndemic Creations simulation, despite it being nearly a decade old.

James Vaughn commented upon the realism of the game, claiming that it does not sensationalise real-world issues, and has even been recognised by the CDC and other leading health organisations for its accuracy.

"The coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we've received a lot of questions from players and the media. 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."

James Vaughn

The spike in popularity was reported recently by the BBC, who said that on Wednesday, 22 January, Plague Inc. was the best-selling game on China's iOS store, and QZ.com reported users on Chinese social media platform Weibo joking extensively about the similarities.

However, Vaughn downplayed these similarities, reminding people that “Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model”, recommending that “players get their information directly from local and global health authorities."

On Thursday, the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a global emergency, which is likely to further exacerbate the explosion of media attention, and presumably the increase in sales which Plague Inc. has seen.

Plague Inc., despite its accuracy, relies heavily upon the player’s strategic choices. The user is granted control of the virus’ evolution and origin, allowing the player to tailor conditions to best suit them, something the coronavirus certainly lacks.

The UK has seen 150 negative tests for the virus, and two victims from York are currently being treated at our very own RVI in Newcastle. Whether or not the virus will continue to dominate the news for the next few months, Plague Inc. continuing to sell eight years after its release is not common by any means and certainly indicates gamers are just as anxious as everyone else.

Featured image credit: Wikipedia & IGDB

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AUTHOR: Alex Walker
An English Literature student, who enjoys playing devils advocate. Interested in sharing my vacuous opinion on Film, TV, Music, Sports, and Political history. Find me on Facebook if you want write a piece together, or just want to tell me my articles are rubbish somewhere Zuckerberg can hear. Twitter, @TheAlexJLWalker

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