Looks like Fortnite China is shutting down

Fortnite China
(Image credit: Epic Games)

The limited run of Fortnite in China is ending in November, according to the official Chinese site. Epic's smash hit is a very different game in China, and premium currency is unlocked by playing rather than with real money. 

It's not clear how successful Fortnite was in China, but it's over now: Nobody will be able to register and download the game after November 1st, and the servers will shut down. Fortnite's availability was 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 for multiple players to claim a Victory Royale as long as they stayed alive. Other mechanics were changed to make the game more casual, like a separate health bar for damage from the storm.

The shutdown announcement was circulated widely by Twitter user arkheops, who posted a screencap of the announcement run through translation software.

There's rampant speculation on social media that the shutdown has something to do with China's crackdown on online games. Fortnite's audience is overwhelmingly younger, and China really doesn't want young people playing online games, going so far as to use facial recognition to stop them.

In other recent news, Chinese Bitcoin miners have gone underground in the wake of Chinese authorities declaring virtual currency illegal.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.