Fortnite is bowing out of China, its developer Epic Games has announced.
Users can no longer create new accounts on Fortress Night, as the hugely popular battle-royale game is known in the country. It will cease to exist altogether on November 15. Epic has not provided a reason for the move.
Fortress Night launched in 2018 via a partnership with Chinese media giant Tencent, which owns a 40% stake in the Cary, North Carolina-based Epic. It is essentially a beta version of Fortnite, with several significant differences, some of which were mandated by regulators. For instance, there were no monetary transactions in the game.
Chinese authorities have always regulated video games, but this has escalated in recent months. In August, they restricted the time children can spend playing video games to three hours a week. They have also cracked down on kids’ entertainment more widely, the broadcasting authority calling on broadcasters to show only “excellent cartoons with healthy content and promote truth, goodness, and beauty.”
Beyond entertainment, multiple tech companies have pulled operations from China in recent weeks, citing regulatory challenges. Yahoo officially left the country yesterday, while Microsoft shut its professional networking service Linkedin last month.
Image at top: “Fortnite”