The Fortnite logo is displayed on a smartphone with the Chinese flag displayed in the background.
Budrul Chukrut | SOPA pictures | LightRocket | Getty pictures
Fortnite stops in China.
The wildly popular battle-royale game, developed by Epic Games, shuts down its local Chinese version on November 15, according to an update on its website.
Users were prevented from registering for new accounts from November 1st.
Epic did not provide a specific reason why it closed Fortnite in China.
“Fortress Night”, the Chinese version of the game, was launched in 2018 through a partnership with publisher Tencent. The Shenzhen-based technology giant is a significant investor in Epic, which owns 40% of the company.
The game had technically never had a full launch in China. Instead, it could be played in a “test” mode, except for some features from the main version such as in-app purchases.
“The Battle Royale genre has been strictly regulated in China,” said Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners. tweeted. “The domestic games approved there have major content changes.”
China is known for its tight grip on the video game sector. Games must undergo a rigorous approval process before being rolled out into the country, where Western titles often have to be heavily censored.
Earlier this year, Beijing introduced even stricter control over games, with the government limiting the time under-18s can play online to just three hours a week.
Epic Games is the latest U.S. company to have bowed out of China recently as the country ushers in a fierce regulatory repression of its technology sector.
Last month, the Microsoft-owned social network LinkedIn said it was closing its local version in China due to a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.”
Instead, the company plans to launch a job search site in China – without any social media features.