The Ebola outbreak has caused tremendous concern around the world. Some people are trying to profit from this tragedy with Halloween costumes and pricey health guides. But a plague-themed smartphone app developed in 2012, before Ebola was in the news, is soaring in popularity and becoming one of the most downloaded apps on the market.
Plague Inc is a smartphone game where players aim to wipe out humanity with incurable diseases.
Last week, it became the top selling paid-for app in the United Kingdom. The app registered more than one million downloads in the last two weeks.
If you’ve seen the movie Contagion, you’ll understand the game instantly. You infect “patient zero” with a virus and try to destroy the human race, and you earn “DNA points” as it mutates or becomes resistant to drugs.
Users are allowed to call their virus whatever they want. The app costs $0.99 to download, and is available on the iOS and Android markets.
The app was not developed as a tasteless by-product of Ebola. It has been around since 2012. James Vaughan, owner of Ndemic Creations, told Modojo he “really wanted to play a mobile strategy game but could not find one.”