The Chinese version of Epic Games’ Fortnite will shut down in the middle of this month. A special version of the battle royale mode of the game designed to adhere to China’s strict game regulations and ran by gaming giant Tencent, Epic’s testing of the waters ultimately fell short and is slated to shut down its servers on November 15. New registrations are no longer being taken after today, either.
Tencent’s test version of Fortnite designed with China in mind is different from the Fortnite the rest of the world knows: no in-app purchases or depiction of skulls and blood, just to name a couple of changes.
Fortnite China’s closure is likely a cost-saving measure in the face of still not gaining approval from the government. Analyst Daniel Ahmad explained in a tweet that "the cost of changes / operating the game / extending the license does not make sense anymore, given there is no approval for it at this point".
China has been cracking down on online gaming as of late, limiting children’s gaming time to three hours per week. Still, gaming companies are trying to make inroads into the territory, with Steam's Chinese launch and the PS5 finally being sold there. Meanwhile, Fortnite and dev Epic also have problems domestically, as the former is no longer on the Apple App Store and the latter continuing to find legal avenues to fight this with. And yet Fortnite remains one of the most popular games going, routinely influencing popular culture and changing the way many players consume media.