The Cyberspace Administration of China has removed Plague Inc. from the country's App Store over the inclusion of "illegal" content. Developer Ndemic confirmed the news in a blog post, and said the situation has been taken out of its control.
The decision by Chinese authorities to pull Plague Inc. from sale comes after the title received a huge influx of players. It reportedly became the top-selling app in China earlier this year, with interest in the title spiking as a result of the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan.
Ndemic has already been forced to issue a statement explaining that Plague Inc., which asks players to wipe out the human race by cooking up a fictional virus, probably isn't the best way to brush up on current real-world events -- even if it does have some educational merits.
The studio explained it doesn't know whether the game has been pulled because of its newfound coronavirus connection, and indicated the Cyberspace Administration has yet to offer a concrete explanation for the game's sudden removal.
"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 recognized by organizations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organizations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19," said Ndemic.
"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."