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Plague Inc

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The game has been praised for helping users understand public health issues

A game which challenges players to spread a deadly virus around the world has been banned in China, its makers have said.

Plague Inc. has been pulled from the Chinese app store for including “illegal content”, British-based developer Ndemic Creations said.

It added that it is working “very hard” to find a way to reverse the ban.

The bans comes as China continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, Ndemic Creations said: “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.

“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 [Centre for Disease Control and Prevention] 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.”

It said that it was “devastated” for its Chinese players, adding that the game “encourages players to think and learn more about serious public health issues”.

Plague Inc. has become a huge hit since it was launched eight years ago. It now has 130 million players worldwide and soared in popularity in China amid the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the bestselling app in the country in January.

Some players suggested they were downloading the game as a way to cope with fears surrounding the virus.

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