The world might collectively be crapping its proverbial pants at the recent Ebola epidemic striking various regions, but it doesn’t appear to have done Ndemic Creations’ Plague Inc or Plague Inc Evolved any harm, boosting its sales figures by more than 50 per cent and pushing it up into the upper reaches of the download charts.
Ndemic Creations’ viral simulator tasks the player with crafting a deadly virus in an effort to wipe out as much of the human race as possible, customising its characteristics and levelling it up in order to make it resistant to antibiotics or becoming an airborne disease, equipping your pathogen with all sorts of lethal organ attacks.
The disease-based strategy title is currently available via Steam and on mobile devices, and is in its own rights a pretty addictive management title, albeit one in which you’ll find yourself feeling slightly odd as you watch the death count tick up and cross your fingers hoping the population of Greenland begins bleeding through its eyeballs.
Sales of Plague Inc have risen by nearly 150,000 units per week during the past fortnight, shooting the weekly player count from 900,000 all the way up to an impressive 4 million. That’s 4 million people simultaneously trying to eradicate the human race. Plague Inc is currently sitting at the number one spot in the UK for paid-for apps, and it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing.
"I think this is the first time a real world situation has been the reason why people are getting the game," said Ndemic Creations founder James Vaughan.
"Players are often interested in real-world issues, and frequently discuss diseases and the science behind them. Recently, we have seen that tens of thousands of Plague Inc players are talking about Ebola on game forums and social media."
It’s a bizarre turn of events, but Vaughan is already in talks to transfer a portion of the profits from Plague Inc to a number of charities working at containing the deadly disease.
Are you one of millions getting involved with Plague Inc’s pathogen simulation? Do you find the concept slightly bizarre following a real-world crisis? Let us know what you think!