Despite Rumors, ‘Fortnite’ Doesn’t Appear to Be Banned in China

Rumors of Chinese citizens being unable to access certain games, including “Fortnite,” last week appear not to be true, sources and Variety’s own tests verify.

While several sources reported that China blocked “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” including Deseret News and GameRevolution, there doesn’t appear to be any definitive proof that the games were blocked in China.

The rumor sparked after an imgur post in Chinese was posted to Reddit and subsequently translated. If translated correctly, though, the table of 20 games displays some clear inconsistencies. Further, it is unclear where exactly the image originated from.

For example, under “Fortnite” it lists “blood and gore” as an issue. Famously, though, the most popular game in the world does not have blood at all, opting for a more kid-friendly, cartoon-type violence instead.

China established an ethics committee to judge a series of games last week and reported that nine of the 20 reviewed were deemed inappropriate. It seems that the rumored bans are connected to the judgments made by this panel. Of the 20 games reviewed, 11 were deemed in need of revisions to “eliminate moral hazard” according to the government-run news source Xinhua.

However, it does not seem that the Chinese government has enforced any of the restrictions as of yet. In addition, there is no official word from the government regarding any bans or action taken, despite the open admission of the formation of the ethics panel in the first place. While it might choose to ban the games quietly, it would seem, well, inconsistent.

The ethics committee to approve games is the latest in a series of decisions made by the Chinese government to restrict game access. Previous efforts included one from the Ministry of Education with claims that playing video games could cause myopia, or nearsightedness, in young children.

Stew Chisam, president of Hi-Rez Studios, sent a statement to PC Games regarding the rumor of banned games.

“Tencent manages ‘Paladins’ in China, including full operation of the game and all interface with the government in regards to the game,” Chisam wrote. “At this time Hi-Rez can neither confirm nor deny reports regarding a government ban, and can offer no insights on corrective action.”

Further, some popular games are, reportedly, still accessible to Chinese citizens, including “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” and “Diablo.” Though, these games are reportedly in need of “corrective action” to avoid a future ban, according to ScreenRant.

By testing via CompariTech, it is clear that several popular sites, such as the Steam Store and Reddit, are blocked in China. The “Fortnite” and “PUBG” and “H1Z1” websites, however, remain accessible. While the game’s sites URLs are not exactly the same as being able to play the games, it seems unlikely that their sites would not be blocked, as well.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content