China's Mobile Game Servers to Shutter for 24 Hours in Coronavirus Memorial

Call of Duty Mobile - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy Activision

Games from publishers including Tencent ('Call of Duty: Mobile') and NetEase ('Immortal Conquest') will go dark beginning at midnight April 4.

In response to the high number of deaths from the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government made the decision Friday to include a shutdown of mobile game servers in its national day of mourning, planned for this Saturday.

During a 24-hour period beginning at midnight April 4, all forms of entertainment will be suspended as the community remembers those who lost their lives to, or are currently fighting against, the COVID-19 illness. 

According to analytics platform Sensor Tower, major mobile games publishers including Tencent (Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile) and NetEase (Immortal Conquest) will pause access to their games on the day of mourning. 

Sensor Tower reports that first-person shooter and strategy game titles have seen an uptick in App Store downloads as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has rendered most people housebound except to perform essential tasks outdoors. Average weekly downloads of mobile games increased by 67 percent in March as compared with December, which is the last month before the virus began to take a significant toll on China. 

During the day of mourning, national flags will fly at half-mast and public recreational activities will cease. There will be three minutes of silence at 10 a.m. Saturday as people nationwide in China mourn those who died. 

As of this writing, the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center indicates that there are 82,509 confirmed coronavirus cases in China, with over 3,300 deaths. More than 76,000 people have recovered from the virus in the country.