Epic Games’ Chinese version of Fortnite will shut down on 15th November after almost three years.
This standalone version of Fortnite’s battle royale mode was operated in the country by Tencent, and featured numerous differences in order to comply with China’s strict video game guidelines.
The game never featured in-app purchases, for example, and certain cosmetics were changed not to feature blood or skulls.
Registration closes today, a message on the game’s official website states, and will no longer be available to download.
Fortnite’s Chinese version was always dubbed as a “test”, and was never officially approved by the Chinese government. (Although, the main Fortnite kept its “beta” tag for several years.)
Writing on Twitter, video games analyst Daniel Ahmad said it was clear “the cost of changes / operating the game / extending the license does not make sense anymore, given there is no approval for it at this point”.
Meanwhile, China is only getting stricter on the ability for children and young adults to play online games. In August, the country further reduced the number of hours people under the age of 18 are able to play online to just three hours in a typical week, working out at an hour a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, between 8pm and 9pm.
These new curbs are the latest steps in the Chinese state’s ongoing battle against online gaming, which has been dubbed “spiritual opium” for the country’s youth.