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Fortnite China shut down while still in testing phase

Epic's live service shooter/builder is pulling out of China after the government announced tighter restrictions on video game playing time.

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At times it may have felt that Fortnite was an unstoppable force incapable of being slowed. It was almost the truth, right up to the point that it ran up against the Chinese government. Just two years after soft-launching in the region (microtransactions were never enabled for the Chinese market), Epic will be shuttering Fortnite for Chinese users on November 15.

The closure announcement came by way of the game’s official Chinese web portal. The game was first introduced in 2018 during Season 5. Prior to that release, players located in China could only play the game via sideloading. The Season 5 launch gave those players the first opportunity to go hands-on with the popular shooter legally.

Various parts of Fortnite’s monetization and art elements were altered for the Chinese release. All microtransactions were disabled due to government regulations and all skulls or player skins depicting skulls had to be altered. Other small changes had been made, mostly in service of toning down the amount of violence depicted during gameplay.

The Chinese release also resulted in alterations to Fortnite's official lore. Instead of defeated players dying, it was explained that all matches occur within a simulation. Because the violence happens between holograms representing player avatars in said simulation, Fortnite was able to avoid the ire of the Chinese government. However, these efforts ultimately didn’t matter, as Epic has chosen to shut down the game entirely following the Chinese government’s clampdown on the amount of time the public spends playing video games. It is no longer possible to create new Fortnite accounts for Chinese citizens and the game servers will go offline on November 15.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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