Fortnite is officially shutting down in China. Fortnite China was a variant of the game released only for the Chinese market in 2018. The game will be shutting down on November 15, 2021. Neither Epic nor Tencent, the Chinese minority owner of Epic, have provided a concrete reason for why the game is shutting down.
Fortnite China was launched with changes to the game that were specific to the Chinese version. Many of the changes in Fortnite China were made to follow the various regulations that the Chinese gaming industry has to abide by. One of the biggest changes from the original version of the game was the lack of microtransactions in Fortnite China. Other changes made to the game were mostly cosmetic but had to follow similar rules about what cannot be in games in China.
One of the cosmetic changes made to the game was the removal of skulls. There are limits to what can be shown in video games in China and skulls are a no-no. Fortnite China was also generally made into a less violent version of the game. For example, in Fortnite China, players on the island where the battle royale takes place are not real. They are holograms that are taking part in a simulation. That way, the game is less violent as players aren’t actually killing each other.
Although Epic and Tencent have not provided a reason for shutting down the game, it isn’t hard to imagine why. The Chinese government has been making more and more regulations for video games in recent years. Since Fortnite China was released in 2018, the rules have been getting tougher. Mostly, the new rules have been trying to limit how much time children can spend playing games. Even if the exact reason for the Fortnite China shutdown hasn’t been given, the new regulations will have likely played a role.