Apple pulls pandemic simulation game Plague Inc. from App Store in China

Ndemic Creations, maker of the pandemic simulation game Plague Inc., says the game has been pulled from Apple’s App Store in China because Chinese authorities say it “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China.”

Apple pulls Plague Inc. game. Image: Plague Inc. screenshot


The popular game — which asks players to shepherd a virus’ deadly spread around the world — has been available on the Chinese App Store for years without issue. Ndemic says it’s “not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing,” but it certainly seems like the most likely proximate cause…

World events aside, Plague Inc. also received an early December “Fake News” update that added “a radically different scenario which lets you create your very own Fake News story and deceive the world with it,” according to the game’s public patch notes. Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad notes on Twitter that China has in the past restricted games that “harm the public ethics, disrupt social order, or undermine social stability,” including titles that contain “false information.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s important to ban games because they so often affect actual reality. Obviously Apple’s move to pull the game has resulted in China getting the coronavirus under control, so it was worth the effort.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “TJ” for the heads up.]


      1. Nick shows regularly how little the modern right wing regards libertarian principles. The rightie snowflakes simply want to dominate the levers of power, law & order. They only pretend to be libertarian when it comes time to pay for anything. They pretend that playing political pissing matches makes their nation great, again.

  1. I think we’ll all soon be spreading CoronaVirus antidote on toast, less painful than a vaccine, and no meetings with Steve Jobs from 1984 required, which is a relief.

  2. I’m not sure how MDN can say, “Apple’s move to pull the game.” Apple did not ban anything. The Chinese government did. Apple chose to obey Chinese law while doing business in China. It has ignored the ban elsewhere. If it had not obeyed Chinese law, it would be subject to Chinese criminal penalties.

    It is really easy for staunch anti-communists in America to say that Apple should volunteer its employees in China for unemployment, internal exile, prison, or worse. Said Americans have nothing to lose if Apple’s employees, contractors, developer community, and users suffer the consequences from having the Chinese App Store shut down.

  3. Quite an interesting idea that I really like and I am already impatient to play with it. I also want to share an article which is dedicated to the topic of simulator games. In the past, we have not had the opportunity to play something like this, and so we played as oil tycoons, casino tycoons or fast food restaurant owners, but the reconstruction of social life has opened new doors for this niche.

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