Fortnite leaving China amid video game crackdown | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – US game developer Epic Games said Monday (November 1) that it will pull the plug on Fortnite’s three-year “testing” in China.

In an update on its Chinese website, Epic Games announced that the popular battle-royale shooter will be closing on November 15. New users were unable to create accounts as of November 1, according to CNBC.

To meet Chinese regulations, Epic released a Chinese version of Fortnite – called Fortress Night – in April 2018 through a partnership with Chinese tech giant Tencent, which owns a 40% stake in Epic Games. The Chinese version included changes in gameplay and monetization, as well as different character graphics to please the organisers, according to Techcrunch.

Video games in China need to surmount several hurdles before being approved for release in the country, while Western games are usually required for heavy censorship, according to CNBC. According to SCMP, Tencent has not been able to obtain a license to officially launch Fortress Night.

Earlier this year, Beijing announced further restrictions on gaming by limiting the time under-18s spend playing online games to just three hours a week. Techcrunch said that this along with lower monetization capabilities due to microtransaction restrictions may be the reason behind Epic’s decision to pull the plug.

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