Epic Games and Tencent are shutting down the Chinese version of Fortnite. Would-be players are no longer able to register or download the game, and the servers will be closed on November 15th, according to an announcement on the battle royale’s Chinese website.
“The test of Fortress Night has come to an end,” the message reads (via Google Translate). “We will shut down the server in the near future.” No reason was given for the game’s closure.
Players who dropped into that version of Fortnite had a different experience to those elsewhere, as PC Gamer notes. There was a separate health bar for damage sustained in the storm, and several players could earn a Victory Royale if they survived for long enough.
Though it’s not clear how many Fortnite players there were in China, it never officially launched in the country, according to analyst Daniel Ahmad. Fortnite‘s Chinese incarnation was in beta testing for over two years and the government didn’t grant Tencent, which published the game there, a license. As such, Tencent was unable to monetize Fortnite with in-app transactions. Engadget has contacted Epic and Tencent for comment.
Ahmad also pointed out that battle royale titles are “strictly regulated” in China. The original version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had no monetization functions in the country. Tencent launched a more patriotic, gore-free replacement in 2019 called Game for Peace, to which regulators gave the green light.
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