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Plague Inc. sees 50 per cent download spike due to Ebola fears

"This is the first time a real world situation has been the reason why people are getting the game"

After more than two years on sale in the notoriously competitive mobile market, Ndemic Creations' Plague Inc. is riding high in the charts once again.

Normally, this would be a cause for celebration, but Ndemic founder James Vaughan has pointed to a rather distressing cause for Plague Inc's 50 per cent spike in downloads over the past week: the Ebola outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives so far, and is the subject of concern in countries all over the world.

According to new data sourced by The Daily Mail, Plague Inc.'s downloads rose by more than 147,000 in the period between October 10 and 16. During the same period, the game's weekly player count was up by more than 900,000 to reach 4 million.

In the last two months, it has climbed the iOS paid download charts (US) from a spot outside the top 20 to become a consistent fixture in the top 5.

"I think this is the first time a real world situation has been the reason why people are getting the game,' Vaughan said.

"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."

Vaughan is currently in talks with several charities to arrange transferring a portion of the game's profits to help contain the disease.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.