Fortnite’s limited series in China ends in November, according to the Chinese official website. Epic’s hit is a very different game in China, as it is not only free to play, but has some mechanical and gameplay differences, and premium currency is unlocked by playing rather than with real money.
It’s unclear how successful Fortnite has been in China, but it’s over now: no one will be able to register and download the game after November 1, and the servers will be shut down. The availability of Fortnite has been billed as a test and is referenced as such in the shutdown announcement.
The version of Fortnite available in China was quite different from the rest of the world. Matches were shorter, allowing multiple players to claim a Victory Royale as long as they remained alive. Other mechanics have been changed to make the game more casual, such as a separate health bar for storm damage.
The announcement of the shutdown was widely circulated by the Twitter user arkheops, who posted a screenshot of the ad via translation software.
There is rampant speculation on social media that the shutdown has something to do with China’s crackdown on online gambling. The audience for Fortnite is extremely young and China really doesn’t want young people to play online games, even going so far as to use facial recognition to stop them.
In other recent news, Chinese Bitcoin miners have gone underground following the declaration by Chinese authorities of the illegal virtual currency.