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‘Fortnite’ is shutting down in China

By Kara Santos Published Nov 03, 2021 2:29 pm

Epic Games, the developer behind the wildly popular battle royale game Fortnite, is shutting down operations in China by mid-November. 

A translation on Fortnite’s website reveals that the Chinese version of the game, which initially launched in 2018, was simply a “test” that “has now come to an end.”

According to the announcement, users will no longer be able to register or download Fortnite from the portal starting Monday, Nov. 1.

On Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. (Beijing Standard Time), Epic Games will shut down Fortnite’s servers completely and bar users from logging in and accessing the game.

The notice, posted on Sunday (Oct. 31), thanked everyone who "boarded the bus and participated in the Fortnite'test" for the past three years.

While Epic Games didn’t provide any additional information on the reason for the shutdown, the announcement comes amid a wider crackdown and tighter gaming regulations in China.

In August, China restricted gaming hours for kids, stating that children under the age of 18 can only play video games for three hours per week.

Fortress Night, the Chinese version of the game was launched by Epic Games in partnership with Tencent in 2018, but the game had to undergo some heavy modifications before it was made widely available. 

The game never fully officially launched in China and has only been in a Beta “testing phase” for the past two years. No micro-transactions or in-app purchases are allowed within the game. 

According to the Fortnite China wiki page, the "Chinese Exclusive test version" contains many differences to the regular version, including different gameplay mechanics, cosmetics, and censored content.

For instance, Chinese law prevents the depiction of skulls, resulting in cosmetic changes for skins. The game shows no blood and dead bodies and themes revolve around “military training” instead of “last man standing.”

Additionally, after 90 Minutes of playtime, players receive no more XP and cannot complete challenges. Instead they are prompted to go study.