The popular game Fortnite is no longer available in China. As a result, Epic Games pulled the plug on its Chinese version on Monday. The developer tried unsuccessfully for three years to also market the game in China but encountered resistance from policymakers in Beijing.
These days they are taking strong action against, among other things, game addiction and the tech sector as a whole.
Epic announced two weeks ago that it would discontinue the Chinese version of the game on November 15. Gamers in the country are now confirming that they will no longer have access to Fortnite. They posted their “farewell” to the game on the social media platform Weibo. A forum about Fortnite has now been viewed 470 million times.
Fortnite is immensely popular worldwide and has more than 350 million users. The Chinese test version was already released in 2018 but was never formally launched.
China wants to reduce the impact of video games on children. In September, the government introduced restrictions on the allowed weekly playing time. That same month, hundreds of Chinese video game makers, including Tencent, pledged to better monitor their products for “politically harmful content.” They also said they are doing their best to let underage players play less.
Epic’s move follows Microsoft’s announcement in October to shut down a Chinese version of the social network LinkedIn. Also, Yahoo! previously withdrew from the Asian country. Both companies pointed to the barriers they face in doing business in China.