Minecraft, Monopoly, Pocket Build and in fourth place Plague Inc: this is how the App Store Top Paid Games on iPad presents itself. And if you look at the ranking on the iPhone, the game is in second place.
Brief introduction to a success
The pandemic simulator Plague Inc is a simulation / strategy video game developed and published by Ndemic Creations ten years ago for mobile devices; later the title was also released for PC and consoles. In the action you are called to manage the spread of a dangerous pathogen, such as a virus, a bacterium or an amoeba, which from a specific country chosen by the player must then spread, leading to extinction all of humanity. The game costs 99 euro cents and does not include in-app purchases.
In his long career, the title of Ndemic Creations has seen many expansions, the introduction of new modalities and new epidemics and changed its name to Plague Inc: Evolved. In 2019, a bizarre online petition from users, signed by over 20 thousand people who could not imagine today’s pandemic scenario, asked developers to include no-vaxes among the vectors of contagion.
Coronavirus, China removes the game Plague Inc from the App Stores
The pandemic becomes a reality
With the outbreak of Covid 19, Plague Inc returns to be talked about as: the video game that anticipated the pandemic. Its popularity grows, but not everyone sees in the game a desire to understand events or a search, albeit virtual, for catharsis. In the middle of the 2020 lockdown, the title is removed from all online stores in the People’s Republic of China: the news was given by the same developers who, addressing the community directly, recommended deleting what was considered, in a very vague way, illegal content by the competent authorities. In 2021 Ndemic publishes The Cure a DLC, free for owners of the original game, which offers the Heal mode, where players are called to stem and defeat the pandemic.
Still at the top of the charts
The success of Plague Inc, in these two long years in which the maps on the pandemic trend seen on the news appear to be those of the game, it is cyclical. The title disappears for a period, and then forcefully returns to the rankings. One of the reasons for its success is due to the fact that by playing it is understood, albeit in a simplified way, how a pandemic spreads. We understand the mechanisms of spread of pathogens, we learn what slows down and what accelerates a contagion.
Playing at Plague Inc there are moments of catharsis, because bringing humanity to extinction, in the game, is not an easy operation. The simulation map that represents the world slowly turns red first, then black as the pandemic and mortality progress, but it can always vary to regain bright colors as the cure is distributed. And it is not important how many mutations the pathogen has undergone: a vaccine, even one step away from the end, can defeat it.