Popular Mobile Game Plague Inc. Removed From App Stores in China

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Ndemic Creations today released a statement acknowledging that its popular mobile game Plague Inc. has been removed from App Stores in China.


The company says it received a notice saying that Plague Inc. "includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China," but no further information on regulators' objections to the game have been shared.

It's possible and perhaps even likely that the removal is linked to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, with regulators possibly concerned that a game intended to entertain is hitting a little too close to home given the severe ongoing impacts in that country.

As Ndemic Creations points out, however, Plague Inc. has been recognized by the U.S. CDC and other organizations for its educational impact that helps players understand how diseases spread.
It's not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing. However, Plague Inc.'s educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.

We are working very hard to try and find a way to get the game back in the hands of Chinese players - we don't want to give up on you - however, as a tiny independent games studio in the UK, the odds are stacked against us. Our immediate priority is to try and make contact with the Cyberspace Administration of China to understand their concerns and work with them to find a resolution.
Despite having been released eight years ago, Plague Inc. has seen regular updates and remains a massively popular game on the App Store, placing near the top of the paid apps chart in Apple's 2019 rankings.

Article Link: Popular Mobile Game Plague Inc. Removed From App Stores in China
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,809
7,419
Florida, USA
Isn't this an extremely high level of stupidity?

I mean, during a virus outbreak, don't you WANT people to be home playing videogames, as opposed to out spreading the virus?

Also during crisis situations people need distractions. A topical game like this is just the thing!
 

atomic.flip

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2008
291
555
Orange County, CA



Ndemic Creations today released a statement acknowledging that its popular mobile game Plague Inc. has been removed from App Stores in China.


The company says it received a notice saying that Plague Inc. "includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China," but no further information on regulators' objections to the game have been shared.

It's possible and perhaps even likely that the removal is linked to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, with regulators possibly concerned that a game intended to entertain is hitting a little too close to home given the severe ongoing impacts in that country.

As Ndemic Creations points out, however, Plague Inc. has been recognized by the U.S. CDC and other organizations for its educational impact that helps players understand how diseases spread.Despite having been released eight years ago, Plague Inc. has seen regular updates and remains a massively popular game on the App Store, placing near the top of the paid apps chart in Apple's 2019 rankings.

Article Link: Popular Mobile Game Plague Inc. Removed From App Stores in China
Gents please change the featured image. That dashboard will create tons of panic and confusion.

Separately, while I dislike app banning in general. The game publishers should probably revise the App with a splash screen warning and reminding users that it’s just a game for entertainment and is not based on any actual cases or news.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,204
13,291
In between a rock and a hard place
That's actually a real thing? It sounds more like it's from the game.
As an American, I want to make fun of China's agency name. Unfortunately, I can't. We ripped off Star Trek and created the absurdly named Space Force. ← That sounds like a campy sci-fi cartoon from the 60's.

On topic: Nothing Apple does in China should come as a surprise anymore. They are going to do whatever they have to do to keep the Chinese gov't happy. Money talks and the moral high ground does not come with +30% profit margins.
 

bmunge

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2012
273
313
Separately, while I dislike app banning in general. The game publishers should probably revise the App with a splash screen warning and reminding users that it’s just a game for entertainment and is not based on any actual cases or news.
That’s ridiculous. Anyone confusing a game with real life isn’t going to be helped by a splash screen.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,204
13,291
In between a rock and a hard place
Apple did not remove it ... it was the developer of the game who removed it after china complained.
Did we read different articles? I read the dev stating the game was removed, not that they removed it. Their statement even reads: "We have some very sad news to share with our China based players. We've just been informed that Plague Inc. “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China” and has been removed from the China App Store. This situation is completely out of our control."
 

GreenPixel

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2014
108
590
These kinds of decisions make societies implode. The current regime will crumble and hopefully be replaced with something more liberal.
You mean less authoritarian correct? They are already pretty far to the left of the political spectrum.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,809
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Florida, USA
Their other choice is to turn off the app store in china. Either way chinese residents don't get the app.
Oooooor they could enable side loading. Then it's out of Apple AND China's hands.

EDIT: I just saw the thumbs down... What do people have against sideloading? If they implemented it, it would be completely optional; you could happily keep using the App Store and never sideload a thing. It would just be a good thing to have in the event of censorship.
 
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warp9

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2017
210
245
Apple did not remove it ... it was the developer of the game who removed it after china complained.
China does not "complain", they just do what they want and they forcibly removed it from app stores. Apple did not decide to remove it and neither did the developer.

It's incredibly difficult to publish apps in China. Developers require an approval number from the government before an app or game is allowed to be published, and those approval numbers are very hard to come by. This applies to all app stores, iOS and Android alike. Even after approval, a popular store like the Xiaomi app store has a $5,000 publishing fee. There is also no Google presence at all.

If you manage to get past all these hurdles, you're still facing the fact that 90% of revenue goes to local Chinese apps and everyone else splits the remaining 10%. For larger apps and games it might be worth it but it certainly wasn't for me. China and North Korea remain the only countries I don't publish in.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,129
3,119
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
That's actually a real thing? It sounds more like it's from the game.
I chalk it up to being "lost in translation."

It reminds me of an American tourist who wanted a tattoo that said "badass" in Chinese. Since the tattoo artist didn't understand English slang, he came up with the closest translation he could come up with. In the end, the tattoo said, "Evil butt":oops::D:D:D
 

SRLMJ23

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2008
2,109
1,063
Central New York
You mean less authoritarian correct? They are already pretty far to the left of the political spectrum.
Funny thing is the Chinese people finally had a chance to vote for their Presidents, now that vote most likely did not mean anything (but I am not 100% sure about that) but then the National People's Congress, which is technically the most powerful legislative body in China went and made Xi Jinping leader for life, by approving the changes he wanted/made to the Chinese 4th Constitution, which was in large part made to make sure another Mao never happened again. The big one being no more term limits...so another dictatorship/Mao! He is also relatively young at 67 years old, so he should be around for quite a while. At least before, they had different Presidents with different policies:

Starting with the Chinese 4th Constitution, which is still their current Constitution (1982-Present):

5 Year Terms:

1983-1988: Li Xiannian
1988-1993: Yang Shangkun
1993-2003: Jiang Zemin
2003-2013: Hu Jintao
2013- : Xi Jinping (also served as Vice President in Hu Jintao's second term)

Per the Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2018:

Xi Jinping, President for Life

"China will amend its constitution to allow Presidents to serve more than two terms, the state-run news agency Xinhua announced Sunday. The change is momentous because it confirms Xi Jinping has become the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. He is abolishing term-limit rules and other norms that Deng Xiaoping created in the 1980s to prevent a repeat of Mao’s disastrous rule."

:apple:
 
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