Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite in China, decided to give up this Monday. It had spent three years trying to make its mark in the online gaming market. This was due to government measures to curb the growing addiction among young people. to digital entertainment.
Two weeks ago, the company announced that it would close down the Chinese version on November 15. It also noted that the "Fornite China Beta Test" had ended.
Chinese users posted farewells on Weibo on Monday, stating that they couldn't access the game. One user said, "Friends who played with me, I will see you again if luck permits."
Zheng, 24, said to AFP that he was going to weep first about the game he used for two years at university.
This decision ends Fortnite’s lengthy testing period for China. China has strict laws regarding violent content. With more than 350 million players, the action game features shootouts and world-building. It is also one of the most loved in the world.
Although the video game was initially launched in China in 2018, it never received final approval from the government to be commercialized.
China is tightening its rules in the digital sector and China has decided to suspend the game. Video games are an important source for income in China. However, they have been criticized as being too addictive for young people.
The authorities set a strict limit on video games for children under 18 years old, limiting them to three hours per week. Some could even spend whole days staring at the screen.
Fortnite is available for free download, but it generates billions in revenue through the sale of additional characters' items, especially costumes.
It quickly became a global phenomenon and some games are now watched live by millions.
Tencent was one of hundreds of Chinese videogame makers that pledged in September to improve their product polices to stop "politically damaging" content and limit the age of gamers who are required to follow government regulations.
AFP inquires about Fortnite were initially answered by neither Epic nor Tencent, the Chinese messaging and gaming giants.
Beijing's efforts to tighten economic control have had a negative impact on a variety of industries, especially tech companies.
In October, Microsoft announced that it would shut down the Chinese version its social network, LinkedIn. Yahoo, however, decided to pull out of China weeks ago. Both companies pointed out the increasing obstacles to doing business with China.
Foreign technology companies must balance local laws and government censorship to be successful.
Google's search engine in China was closed in 2010 by Beijing after it refused to comply with Beijing’s demands to censor search results.