What’s in a name? Obviously a lot, going by developments in China in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country. Plague Inc., a popular game maker has been flooded with enquiries from users and non-users alike, seeking information on the Cornavirus disease. Plague Inc. has little to do with the disease although it has been thriving, ironically, in the wake of the Coronavirus disease.

According to media reports, the game involving strategy-making, which dares players to “bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global plague”, became China’s top-grossing app last week.

The official Twitter handle describes the game as “the smash hit #1 strategy game for mobile, PC, console, and tabletop with over 130 million players worldwide”.

Owned by Ndemic Creations, Plague Inc./Rebel Inc., launched some eight years ago, has experienced sharp spikes in popularity during epidemic outbreaks “as people seek to find out more about how diseases spread and to understand the complexities of viral outbreaks”, according to a company statement on Twitter.

Statement from Ndemic Creations on its Twitter handle.

“We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues,” the company said in the statement, adding, “… However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people.”

Ndemic Creations’ promo trailer on its latest offering — Plague Inc: Evolved

To ensure there is little misinformation, the company very helpfully referred people to the official website of the World Health Organisation.