Fortnite to shut down in China amid video game crackdown – .

Fortnite to shut down in China amid video game crackdown – .

The Fortnite logo displayed on a smartphone with the flag of China in the background.
Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
Fortnite calls for a shutdown in China.
The hugely popular battle royale game, developed by Epic Games, will shut down its local Chinese version on November 15, according to an update on its website.

Users were prevented from creating new accounts as of November 1.

Epic did not provide a specific reason why it was shutting down Fortnite in China.

“Fortress Night”, the Chinese version of the game, was launched in 2018 through a partnership with publisher Tencent. The Shenzhen-based tech giant is a significant investor in Epic, holding a 40% stake in the company.

Technically, the game never had a full launch in China. Instead, it was playable in “test” mode, excluding some major version features like in-app purchases.

“The battle royale genre has been strictly regulated in China,” Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, tweeted. “The national games approved there have big content changes. ”
China is known for its strong hold on the video game industry. Games must go through a strict approval process before they roll out in the country, with Western titles often needing to be heavily censored.

Earlier this year, Beijing introduced even tighter controls on gambling, with the government limiting the time under-18s can play online to just three hours per week.

Epic Games is the latest U.S. company to pull out of China recently, as the country embarks on a fierce regulatory crackdown on its tech industry.

Last month, LinkedIn, the social network owned by Microsoft, announced that it was shutting down its local version in China due to a “significantly more difficult operating environment and more stringent compliance requirements.”

Instead, the company plans to launch a job search site in China, without any social media functionality.


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