In China, the game was known as “Fortress Night” and operated by Tencent Games, which is a major investor in Epic and announced a deal in 2018 to launch the title in China. The shutdown of the game in China was previously reported by CNBC.
The end of “Fortnite” in China comes after the country’s regime — which already had relatively strict regulations for video games — in August enacted new rules limiting the time kids under 18 can play games online to three hours per week.
“Fortnite’s” exit from the Middle Kingdom comes amid the pullout from China by other internet companies over the country’s increasingly restrictive laws governing content and social media. Yahoo fully shut down its services in China as of Nov. 1, while Microsoft’s LinkedIn said it would shut down its primary business-networking platform.
An Epic Games spokesperson declined to comment on the decision to wind down “Fortnite” in China. The rep pointed to a notice to players that Tencent posted Oct. 31 on its webiste.
“Dear users: Fortnite China’s Beta test has come to an end and the servers will be closed soon,” the notice says.
On Monday, Nov. 1, “Fortress Night” shut off new user registration for the game download portal. Then on Nov. 15, “we will turn off servers for ‘Fortnite’ and players will no longer be able to connect to the game through the WeGame client,” the notice says. “Thank you to everyone who has ridden the Battle Bus with us by participating in the Beta.”
In 2012, Tencent invested $330 million in Epic, giving it a 40% stake in the games company.