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Fortnite won't be launching in China despite years of testing

A test version of the game will be shut down on November 15.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 1, 2021

1 Min Read

Fortnite won't be getting an official release in China. A test version of the popular battle royale shooter had been available in the region for the past two years, but will now be shut down on November 15, 2021.

A brief post on the Fortnite website didn't provide a reason for the shut down, but explained that new users will be unable to access the title from November 1.

Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out that the test version of Fortnite had never received approval from Chinese regulators, and didn't include key features like in-app purchases.

As such, Ahmad said it's likely that Fortnite developer Epic Games and licensing partner Tencent decided to cut their losses given there would be slim chance of gaining approval with monetization mechanics and other key content.

"The battle royale genre has been strictly regulated in China," said Ahmad on Twitter. "The domestic games that are approved there have heavy content changes [such as] no blood or dead bodies, [and the] theme is 'military training' and not 'last man standing.'"

Regulators in China are notoriously tough, and have introduced restrictions including playtime limitations and guidelines on how morality, gender, and history are depicted to ensure video games display a "correct set of values."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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