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Plague Inc: Evolved, a strategy/simulation mix that supports Linux, has seen a sudden surge in popularity recently as China has a real-life Coronavirus outbreak people are testing it out in the game.

In the last 24 hours, it's hit a new all-time high peak-player count of over fifteen thousand people all trying to cover the world in something terrible. This is thanks to the modding support the game has with the Steam Workshop, there's multiple packs that add in some form of the new Chinese Coronavirus.

This sudden surge has led the developer, Ndemic Creations, to release a statement to remind people it's only a game and not a scientific model to follow:

The Coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we’ve received a lot of questions from players and the media.

Plague Inc. has been out for eight years now and whenever there is an outbreak of disease we see an increase in players, as people seek to find out more about how diseases spread and to understand the complexities of viral outbreaks.

We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues. This has been recognised by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world.

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. We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities.

It's definitely a fascinating game though, and I think it's only natural for people curious about how such things work and spread to take a look at it.

You can pick up Plague Inc: Evolved on Steam where it's 60% off until January 27 in the big Steam sale. Also on Humble Store but no sale there right now.

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dpanter Jan 25, 2020
It's almost like someone hacked the Matrix and is now playing Plague Inc. on the real world.

Kudos to the devs, pretty chill dudes/dudettes.
Dunc Jan 25, 2020
And if it ends up wiping out half of humanity, you can learn how to escape in Kerbal Space Program. :D
TheSHEEEP Jan 25, 2020
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Quoting: DuncAnd if it ends up wiping out half of humanity, you can learn how to escape in Kerbal Space Program. :D
While the rest can prepare via Fallout.
Brisse Jan 25, 2020
Gotta admit I played this quite a lot today and yesterday, but it wasn't really because the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, it was because the game was on sale and I finally decided to give it a try ^_^
Brisse Jan 25, 2020
Quoting: GuestIs Madagascar hard to infect in this game ? :D

Yes! Also New Zealand
Philadelphus Jan 26, 2020
I've always found it weird how Plague Inc's model is considered so "realistic" when any mutation you apply to your disease instantly happens to every single one of your pathogens simultaneously, instead of how it would happen in reality where it would happen in a single one and would then have to spread (and out-compete its un-mutated brethren!) all over again. This lead to the meta of focusing on infectivity while downplaying lethality until you've infected the entire world while flying under the radar, then cranking up lethality and dropping all of humanity in a few weeks, which doesn't happen in reality. (Assuming we're not talking about the nanites pathogens, where such simultaneous changes might actually make sense. :)) And I understand a simulation will never be completely realistic, but this seems like a glaring deviation from reality.

Like, nothing against it as a game; I've never played it, but I've watched some Let's Plays and it looks like a pretty fun game. :) Maybe I'll finally pick it up while it's on sale…
TheRiddick Jan 26, 2020
I think like thousand people have got this virus (probably more) now and only ~26 confirmed deaths so far. Nature is going to need to do a HELL of allot better then that to wipe us out!

Last edited by TheRiddick on 26 January 2020 at 5:53 am UTC
Valck Jan 26, 2020
Quoting: TheRiddickI think like thousand people have got this virus (probably more) now and only ~26 confirmed deaths so far. Nature is going to need to do a HELL of allot better then that to wipe us out!
I wouldn't have put it in those exact words, but that's about what I was writing too, when the forum software decided to log me out when I clicked the submit button... a chance of one in a million.
Purple Library Guy Jan 26, 2020
I'm finding the whole thing hard to take seriously. Coronavirus sounds like something you get from drinking beer.
dpanter Jan 26, 2020
Cervecería Modelo can't be happy right now, Corona Extra is one of the best selling beers worldwide.

The curious ones can try searching (incognito) for "corona" with Google, DDG and Bing, then compare the results.
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