'It is inhumane and irresponsible to publish this game,' one player wrote on Steam
The Coronavirus Attack game, which remains available to download through Steam in other countries, involves firing an “anti-zombie” weapon at infected characters trying to escape the country.
“Selfish-zombies virus has infected throughout the country. The Virus carriers are attempting to flee the country,” the game’s description states.
“Your purpose is to prevent the selfish zombie virus carriers from escaping and infecting the world. 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 costs less than £2 to download and has been mostly well received by players on Steam, with 92 per cent of the 967 reviews being positive.
Negative reviews mostly focussed on the politically-motivated content of the game, as well as the insensitivities it might cause towards people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is inhumane and irresponsible to publish this game,” one reviewer wrote. “Two hundred thousand people have died because of this virus. It is never interesting to build entertainment on others’ pain.”
Game developer MythZsGame did not immediately respond to a request for comment but told gaming news site Abacus that Coronavirus Attack was “meant as a protest towards the Chinese government – and as criticism of those who left Wuhan before the city was locked down.”
It is not the first game to be pulled from the Steam store in China since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Last month, pandemic simulation game Plague Inc was removed for allegedly including "content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China."