BEIJING/SHANGHAI (reuters) – The video game “Plague Inc”, which has been increasing in popularity in the middle of the corona virus epidemic, has been removed from Apple’s China app store, after regulators said it contained illegal content, the operator said.
FILE PHOTO: An ad for “Plague Inc.”, a strategy, simulation application that enables users to create and evolve a pathogen in order to destroy the world, and it is to be seen on a mobile phone, a screen at the front of the logo of the game, in this case, a photo of 4 of February, by the year 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration
It’s a strategy game, where players will have the advantage of a pathogen in order to destroy the world, he rose to the top of the chinese app store charts in January, as consumers have turned to be virus-related, the games and the movies as a coping mechanism. It also has to be a jump in the app rankings of other countries.
“This situation is completely out of our control,” the uk-based developer and publisher of Ndemic Creations, said in a statement, adding his first priority was to get in touch with the Cyberspace Administration of China, and to understand the concerns and are working to find a solution.
The regulator did not respond to Reuters telephone calls and faxes requesting comment on the matter. Apple Inc. and Ndemic not immediately respond to Reuters ‘ requests for comment.
China has very strict rules about the content of games, movies, and censorship, all of which he believes to be in violation of core socialist values. Gaming companies also need to seek the licenses for the games they want to publish it.
Even though there was a brief window when it is in the public criticism of the authorities’ handling of the outbreak, is permitted, censors have tightened their grip in the last few weeks. WeChat groups, and podcasts that have been turned off, as social media posts and articles are removed.
“It’s a game that can just be torn down because of the sensitivities surrounding the subject matter, and the gameplay of the title, in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks,” he said, Daniel Was an analyst in the gaming research firm Niko ners.
He added that it could be related to a new feature in the game, allowing players to create “fake news” stories about the virus, pointing to the other epidemic-related games, those with educational content will continue to be available in China.
He said that he did not think that the game is for the removal of it was related to an update from Apple, this week, that will require developers that are generating revenue for mobile games on its Chinese website to obtain a license from the Chinese government as well as any other unlawful games, it was not influenced by it. Apple, which has lagged behind other app stores on the basis of this rule is to be set, in June as the deadline.
The game has been installed on approximately 2.2 million Apple iphone users in China since its launch in 2012, of which 9% occurred in January, based on the gaming data tracking firm Sensor Tower.
Reporting by Brenda Goh and Pei Li; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Edwina Gibbs