Fortnite, an online video game developed by Epic Games, is shutting down its local Chinese version – Fortress Night – on the 15th of November, 2021. The announcement came through an update on the video game’s website. The video game’s Chinese version will no longer be available in the country from the 15th of November, 2021.
Starting yesterday, the 1st of November, intending users have been unable to register new accounts, automatically translating to not being able to join the online video game’s platform.
While Epic Games has not yet provided a reason for taking Fortnite or rather the Chinese version – “Fortress Night” out of the country, everything points to the regulatory crackdowns in the country. Launched in 2018 through a partnership with Tencent, Epic Games’ “Fortress Night” is the Chinese version of viral battle game Fortnite. It is pertinent to know that “Fortress Night” was yet to be launched in China and was only playable through a “test” mode that had a handful of limitations.
A tweet by Senior Analyst at Niko Partners – Daniel Ahmad, which suggested that Fortnite is being taken out of the country as a result of regulation, read “the battle royale genre has been strictly regulated in China. The domestic games that are approved there have heavy content changes”.
China has been raging with regulatory crackdowns, from the cryptocurrency industry to the tech sector and now the video gaming sector. The video gaming sector is one of the latest to receive heat from Chinese regulators. Now, before they can be launched in the, games need to go through a stringent and undebatable approval process. Regulators are even going as far as requiring that western titles be sometimes censored.
The whole crackdown on the gaming sector began early this year after Beijing launched tight rules over the aforementioned sector. Teenagers were given a time frame to play online games; three hours per week.
Following the exit of Epic Games’ Fortnite from China, the US company is now the latest to exit the Chinese “market”, which has recently been described as toxic as a result of the continuous crackdowns on several industries.
Prior to Fortnite’s exit, Microsoft LinkedIn was the most recent US company to leave the country. The company said it was “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China”, and that this triggered its “decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year”. The company, however, plans to launch another job search service that will exclude any social media features.
With the crackdown on the video gaming sector (as well as other sectors) promising to continue, who knows which US company may decide to exit the country next.