After hosting a test server in China this month, Fortnite developer Epic has officially announced that it will not be officially launching the game in the country any time soon.
One of the most popular social video games around, Fortnite is a battle royale-themed game at its core — a genre heavily monitored by the local Chinese government.
Comicbook.com reports that Fortnite announced that it would stop operating through the game’s Chinese website starting November 15th. The game officially stopped accepting new players this November.
While no reason was given by Epic, analyst Daniel Ahmad who is familiar with the gaming landscape in China says that Fortnite’s withdrawal from the country might be because of the strict regulations enforced by the government.
The battle royale genre, in particular, in China, has certain conditions that need to be met including no blood or dead bodies. The theme should also align with a “military training” theme rather than a last man standing type of theme.
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
That said, opening servers in China would have granted Epic a huge boost considering the large number of gamers in the country, but the changes would’ve meant altering a game that is loved by millions of loyal players. It seems the company opted to retain its image and reputation in favor of increasing its player count.