Game over for Fortnite in China — Analysis

Popular online action game Fortnite was taken offline in China on Monday, two weeks after the game’s developer announced the end of a trial period by the country’s authorities amid a crackdown on the gaming and technology sector.

Epic Games, a developer of Fortnite, announced in November that it would shut down Fortnite servers because of the difficulties associated with complying to strict Chinese regulations on gaming and technology markets. 

Chinese gamers confirmed that Fortnite was not available for them as of Monday morning via social media. This is in accordance with Epic Games’ timeline.

According to AFP statistics, a Weibo hashtag about the game was viewed 470 million time. Users posted varying views, some expressing their sadness, and others wishing them well. “we’ll meet again if fate decrees.”

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Chinese govt sees threat of addiction among nation’s teen gamers, sets out new restrictions on when under-18s can play online

Fortnite was initially released in China as a beta test back in 2018, but the government never officially approved the release. It is therefore difficult to monetise Fortnite’s content.

China has increased its crackdown on video gaming over the past few years. The country wants to stop content that contains excessive violence. The situation forced one developer, Tencent, to launch a gore-free version of its battle royal game ‘Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ to secure support from regulators.

Among the restrictions imposed on the sector in China, the country’s government has sought to impose a curfew on gaming for minors. Recent restrictions were tightened even more by the government, which has imposed a curfew on gaming for minors. This includes a limit of online gaming at one-hour intervals. These hours are between 8pm and 9:00 PM China Standard Time (on Fridays, weekends, and holidays).

China’s state media has estimated previously that 62.5% Chinese under-18s play online video games regularly. 13.2% spend more than 2 hours per week playing mobile games. 

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