In just two weeks, Epic Games will officially shut Fortnite down in China. According to the company, the “test” for the game has “come to an end” and users will no longer be able to sign up or download the free-to-play battle royale after that date.
The whole situation is rather sketchy at the moment. Epic Games did not offer any sort of reason as to why the game is closing. In addition, the company didn’t state whether or not the so-called “test” was a success.
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The only reason Fortnite is being cancelled in China could have something to do with China’s new gaming restrictions for kids. We have covered these new laws in the past but in August, the Chinese government started clamping down on kids who play video games. The government imposed a three-hour restriction on kids under the age of 18.
The Chinese government compares gaming in kids to “spiritual opium”. The ban sees kids restricted to gaming only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for an hour each day. Perhaps adding a new addictive, loot-box driven game into the mix will work against the current laws in the region.
We also know that Epic Games was working alongside Tencent to release Fortnite in China. However, the game had to undergo some heavy modification in order to be greenlit in the country. Some changes include the removal of all skull artwork and items in the game. The Chinese version of Fortnite also had to be coded with a warning telling kids to go and study if they played for more than 90 minutes.
While Epic Games and the Chinese government have yet to confirm the game’s cancellation in the country, it no doubt has something to do with the clamping down on gaming.
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Source: Epic Games