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Chinese Viral Outbreak Fuels Interest in Games Like ‘Plague Inc.’

  • With millions quarantined, gaming a safer option than ever.
  • Chinese gamers are currently all about Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc.
  • Humanity copes in some strange ways, don’t we?

Here’s one that may be an odd story for you. In case you haven’t heard, China is undergoing a bit of a public crisis at the moment, and it’s enough that it has the rest of the world also taking precautions. With cases of coronavirus has literally sparked a panic in the region, with 40 million people being quarantined in the city of Wuhan in an effort to keep it from spreading further. No, Resident Evil fans, this isn’t the work of Umbrella; it just seems to be our semi-annual health crisis that will dominate headlines for a few weeks before suddenly everything is back to normal.

The odd part of the story comes in just how many of the people there are handling the situation, however. The website CCN is reporting that, amid the current woes of the nation, games regarding world-ending viral outbreaks are seeing a huge surge in players after referencing reports from Sensor Tower. Heading over to the site, you can see that there has been a massive uptick since Wednesday for Plague Inc. in particular. If you’ve never played a game like Plague Inc. (there are no less than a couple dozen at any given time these days) it all boils down to manufacturing your own brand of super-virus and unleashing it on the population. As governments launch, contain, and control efforts while trying to not let the public go into a full-blown panic, it’s like a game of chess for the mad scientist in all of us.


It’s interesting to see that people in China are flocking to games like this under the circumstance. It’s almost like gamers over there are trying to experience a ‘what if’ scenario based on the ongoing situation in Wuhan. After all, in Plague Inc., when the quarantine measures begin being put in place, it’s long after the situation has become one where public panic can be managed. While a lot of information is hard to obtain at this time in the region due to a government crackdown on local journalists and those spreading what the government deems to be rumors, the video and images that have actually made it out of the country show images of people not being allowed in or out of the city, appearing to be in direct response to the global criticism during the SARS outbreak years ago.

I’ve never been in a situation like that myself but if I were, I think video games in general would be the last thing on my mind and it’s not often I’ll say that. What do you think about the spike in popularity for games like Plague Inc.? Let us know down below.