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Epic Games is shutting down Fortnite in China

A Fortnite character crying
Image via TheGamer

Epic Games' free-to-play (F2P) battle royale game Fortnite is massively popular all over the world. However, the company built a dedicated version for China to comply with local requirements and launched it as a beta back in 2018. According to a community-driven wiki, this variant of the title features tons of gameplay and cosmetic changes including lesser depiction of violence, more chances for less-skilled players to win the game without defeating all other players, and modifications to the game's lore indicating that all characters are actually holograms in a simulation so no one actually "dies" in the game.

Now, Epic Games has announced that it is completely shutting down the Chinese version of Fortnite, effective from November 15. The company has detailed no reasons for this move, but it's likely that it was not worth maintaining a separate version of the game under China's strict gaming laws which do not allow children to play video games for more than a couple of hours per week. Fortnite in China already did not allow you to earn more XP after you've played a couple of hours and actually prompted you to go and study.

According to TechCrunch, the following email was sent to players registered in China:

To Fortnite China players:

Fortnite China’s Beta test will be ending, and the servers will be closed soon. For details, please see below:

On Monday, November 1 at 11 am, we will close the new user registration entrance and game download portal;

On Monday, November 15 at 11 am, we will turn off servers for Fortnite, and players will no longer be able to connect to the game through the WeGame client.

Thank you to all the Fortnite China players who have ridden the Battle Bus with us by participating in the Beta.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the servers closing, please click here to send us feedback.

Moving forward, players in China will have to necessarily figure out workarounds to play the global version of Fortnite now that they don't have the "legal" option to play it at all. Epic Games is yet to provide an official reason for shutting down the local version of Fortnite in China.

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