US tech giant Epic Games has said it will shut down its popular survival game “Fortnite” in China, months after authorities imposed a series of stringent restrictions on the world’s largest gaming market as part of a comprehensive repression of the technology sector.
Beijing has embarked on a comprehensive regulatory containment of a number of industries in an attempt to tighten its control over the economy, with technology companies taking the lead.
Now, Epic has pulled the plug on “Fortnite” and said it will shut down the massively popular game on November 15th.
“On November 15th at 11am, we will turn off game servers and players will no longer be able to log in.”
The move brings an end to a lengthy test of Epic’s version of “Fortnite”, created specifically for the Chinese market, where content is police officers for excessive violence.
Daniel Ahmad, senior video game analyst at Niko Partners, said fighting games like “Fortnite” had faced tighter approval requirements in recent years.
The action-packed shooter and world-building game is one of the most popular in the world with more than 350 million users.
Epic is the second U.S.-based company to pull a popular product from China in recent weeks after Microsoft announced in October that it would close its career-oriented social network LinkedIn.
The 213 gaming companies promised in a joint statement to ban content that was “politically harmful, historically nihilistic, dirty and pornographic, bloody and intimidating”.
Epic’s announcement was met with sadness from fans in China, who took to social media to mourn the loss of the game.
Many said they had spent hundreds of hours building their characters and social networks on the game.
bur-tjx / rox / leg