Coronavirus causes Plague. Inc’s sales to rise dramatically

The fifth case of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States has now been confirmed. Following the spread of the virus, worried citizens have been turning to epidemic strategy game Plague Inc. for information on the outbreak.

Plague Inc.
People also previously turned to Plague Inc. within the last decade following scares of outbreaks such as Ebola and Zika. Photo: Ndemic Creations

Growing concerns

CNN reports that the patient from Arizona joins fellow Americans from Washington, Chicago, Orange County and Los Angeles on the sick list. All of these people recently visited Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

With people wanting a better understanding of the situation, they have been turning to the strategy game. The title was first released in 2012 but is still popular for its intricate and addictive gameplay.

However, publisher Ndemic Creations recently shared on its Twitter that its website went offline due to very high player numbers. The company added that this happens every time there is a global health scare.

This is because people try to find out about how diseases spread when there is widespread attention on them. Additionally, they want have a better understanding about to complexities of viral outbreaks.

Coronavirus causes pneumonia. Symptoms often include coughing, fever and breathing difficulties. There can also be organ failure in severe cases. Photo: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy via Wikimedia Commons

Consulting the right bodies

Even though the title is realistic and informative, Ndemic has had to remind people that it is still a game and not a scientific model. The game is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although those behind the product advise to seek advise from medical institutions about the outbreak.

“The current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people,” Ndemic Creations shared on its webpage.

“We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities.”

Ndemic recommended consulting the World Health Organization and CDC for more information on coronavirus.

Plague Inc. Gameplay
Plague Inc. allows a player to create and evolve a pathogen in an effort to destroy the world with a deadly plague. Photo: BagoGames via Flickr

Center of attention

Despite the game receiving an increased audience during this outbreak, it is likely that the majority of gamers are turning to the game out of interest rather than actually wanting medical help. Games can often be a useful tool to educate through entertainment.

Nonetheless, the coronavirus outbreak is a sensitive situation and while the world is still trying to monitor the spread of it, caution needs to be taken. Ndemic should be complimented on their stance because even though it has an opportunity to grow its audience, it is acknowledging its role in society.

Altogether, more than 50 people have died due to the disease. Outside of China, more than 40 cases have been confirmed across several countries across the globe. Our thoughts remain with those affected by the outbreak.

Are you concerned about the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section.


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