Epic Games has today shut down its Fortnite operations in China. Fortnite has been available as a beta in the region from April 2018, although it never made it to official release. According to an official statement from Epic Games, registration of new users was suspended on November 1. The server has shut down on November 15, and users can no longer log into Fortnite in China.
— Fortnite News 🟪 (@FortniteBR) November 15, 2021
Why is Fortnite shutting down?
The announcement post from Epic Games was very brief, merely outlining dates and times. Epic Games did not provide a reason as to why they are shutting their servers.
Players in China did not play Fortnite as most of us know it. “Fortress Night”, the Chinese version of Fortnite, had several key differences. These include alternations to the monetization of the game, and limitations on XP gained. China’s censorship laws also made it illegal to portray many characters and skins in the game. A lot of skins had to be removed completely, or have altered versions offered.
With so many laws and regulations to comply with, there are issues with games being made available in China. According to a tweet by Senior Analyst at Niko Partners Daniel Ahmad, who covers games in China, Fortnite was never approved by the government.
To add clarity, Fortnite never officially launched in China
The game has been undergoing testing for the past 2+ years and does not include IAP
This is because the game was never approved by the govt and therefore could not officially launch + monetise. Hence the shut down now. https://t.co/oj1Wx6JsM3
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 1, 2021
This could be the reason Epic Games is ceasing its Fortnite operations in China. New rules were also introduced in August this year to further regulate video games, making it even harder to operate in China.
These new rules state “all online game companies can only provide minors with one hour of service from 20:00 to 21:00 every day on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays.” There are also login requirements, and “game services” are not to be offered to users who register or login with their real names. These strict rules mean children have very limited hours to play video games. The new rules would make it difficult for games like Fortnite to operate at full capacity.