After removing the highly popular and pandemic simulator Plague Inc from App Store, the Chinese authorities have again blocked another Coronavirus-themed game on Steam in the country due to its politically motivated content.
To win this game called, Coronavirus Attack, players have to stop "selfish zombies" from escaping a country with COVID-19 cases. The players reported the game for using the same colour theme as China's flag along with virus-shaped animation in the place of the starts. The game has received several negative feedbacks on Steam's store.
Coronavirus Attack- the game
As per the Steam store website, the game showcases a virus which is capable of turning people into selfish-zombies has spread throughout the country. When the "SELFISH-ZOMBIE VIRUS CARRIERS" trying to escape from the country, in order to control it, a secret laboratory has created an anti-zombie virus, to fight against it.
The site also added that "Your purpose is to prevent the selfish zombie virus carriers from escaping and infecting others. You must destroy the carriers as much as possible and collect more DNA to develop more lethal trait properties and clear the carriers before they develop corresponding immunity."
The game features
Coronavirus Attack is just like a usual shooting game with upgrades. The Steam store says "You Start with a small virus. By shooting your virus you can infect and replicate your DNA in the selfish zombie carriers. With enough DNA can make you evolve new traits. Traits like spread more further, more rapidly more deadly, more enormous and more..."
It should be noted that in this game, the players can also collect badges which feature "Liberate Honk Kong" and "Taiwan is not in China". However, the developer of this controversial pandemic game, MythZ, told news site Abacus that he had developed it as a protest against the Chinese government and revealed that he was not happy the way CCP handled the pandemic.
A pandemic based game
There are some Steam users who have been calling for this game to be removed from the platform globally as in many countries it is still available. One player gave feedback stating that "Imagine making a game to joke about the pandemic situation around the world, using people's death for entertainment."
However, it should be noted that Coronavirus Attack is not the first pandemic game to be blocked in China, as earlier in March popular game Plague Inc was blacklisted as the Coronavirus outbreak worsened in the country. Ndemic Creations, the developers of this game, which became extremely popular at the beginning of 2020 after Wuhan hit by the Coronavirus outbreak, said in a statement that they had been informed that the highly popular game "includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China."
The Plague Inc tasks the player to create a pathogen that can eventually spread and wipe out the human population. The players can try different strategies, such as making a slower, more subtle disease to pass under the radars of researchers and must anticipate how governments will react to the virus.
In January, Plague Inc became the top-paid game on the app store in China. The developers of this game, who were invited to speak at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta about the disease model in the game, said in the statement that the "situation is completely out of our control" and "it's not clear to use if this removal is linked to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak that China is facing."
It should be mentioned that banning or blocking an app is nothing new for China, as in 2019 the Chinese authorities removed 194 apps from the App Store and later additional 94 apps were removed on the government's request for "platform violations." China also removed a Hong Kong mapping app from the App Store, during the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests last fall.