The popular survival game Fortnite which was developed by US tech giant Epic Games has announced the plans on shutting down in China. This announcement comes a few months after the Chinese authorities imposed a series of strict curbs on the world’s biggest gaming market, this is part of plans by the Chinese government to crack down on the technology sector.
According to a post on the website, Fortnite will call it to quit in China by Nov. 15 while new users have been prevented from registering new accounts since Nov. 1. In the post, the company appreciated players for participating in the game. However, the company didn’t provide specific reasons or information on why it decided to shut down in China.
The company -Epic Game first launched the Chinese version of the game “Fortress Night” in 2018 through a partnership with Tencent. The tech giant with a 40% stake in the Epic Game remains a significant investor. After its launch in 2018, the game had to undergo some heavy modifications before it was made widely available. Epic Games is the latest U.S. company to make its way out of China, as the Chinese authorities continue to enforce rules in a bid to crackdown and control the country’s tech sector.
A lot of game enthusiasts understand the plan to quit the Chinese market may have something to do with China’s new gaming restriction for kids. In the month of August, the Chinese authorities announced that children under the age of 18 can only play video games for about three hours per week. Back In 2019, a similar ban was announced, children were banned from playing games between 10 PM and 8 AM. The ban went further to limit screen time for children to 90 minutes on weekdays. After the ban in 2019, the Chinese restriction on gaming for children continues to get tighter. Tencent was quick to launch a system with facial recognition capable of detecting kids who surpass curfew.
China has been known for its stiff grip on video games and several other industries. For games companies looking to operate in the country, operators need to undergo a stringent process to gain approval before rolling out in the country. Also, game companies with western titles are often heavily censored.
Recently Microsoft-owned social network LinkedIn made the announcement to shut down in China. The plan to shut down LinkedIn in China has been for no other reason other than the “challenges” of complying with Beijing’s censorship rules and compliance requirements. LinkedIn decided it will be rolling out a new website called InJobs that won’t have the ability for users to share posts. InJobs will focus only on jobs and “will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles” and thus offer no opportunity to offend Chinese authorities.