Update: Apple removes Plague Inc. from China App Store due to licensing issues

"Content that is illegal in China"

Update: Apple removes Plague Inc. from China App Store due to licensing issues

Update (2): Apple removed Plague Inc. from its App Store in China due to the game being unlicensed to operate in the country.

This was confirmed via Niko Partners senior analysts Daniel Ahmad (via Twitter), with the regulator also finding gameplay to be "insensitive" as well as issues surrounding the content such as maps.

Due to the game's increased popularity and connection to the coronavirus, regulators investigated the title as a priority where this information was discovered.

Update (1): Apple has informed Ndemic Creations that Plague Inc. has been taken down from the App Store in China because it “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China".

"It’s not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing," reads a statement from Ndemic.

"However, Plague Inc.’s educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.

"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."

Ndemic will now look to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China to better understand the reasong as well as find a resolution.

Original Story: Ndemic Creations' virus simulator Plague Inc. has been removed from the App Store in China potentially as a result of its association to the coronavirus.

As spotted by Yoozoo Games US head Wenfeng Yang (via LinkedIn), the popular real-time strategy title is currently unavailable to download in the country after witnessing a surge in installs earlier this month.

In reaction to the game's increased downloads, Ndemic warned players to look elsewhere for coronavirus information. However, it seems now that the connection has been too great, with Apple seemingly taking the title offline in China.

Close connection

China is known for removing content it does not find useful for its residents, though this would be the first time an issue has been raised surrounding Plague Inc. since its May 2012 launch. has reached out to Ndemic Creations for further details.

At the time of writing, Plague Inc. is still available to download in countries outside of China.

Earlier this month, the game overtook Minecraft as the top paid app in the US.

Deputy Editor

Matthew Forde is the deputy editor at and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @MattForde64 talking about stats, data and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.