Fortnite was shut down in China amid broader crackdown on gambling in the country.
Players are now unable to load the game, following a previously announced shutdown.
Unlike the rest of the world, where Fortnite has become a central part of much of the culture, Fortnite has never really picked up speed in China. It was held back from its launch by regulatory issues – and was never officially launched, with developers even ending up calling it a “test”.
Fortnite developers announced the shutdown in late October when they said the “test” was “coming to an end”. Players were prevented from registering as new users or downloading the game from November 1st, and then completely shut down on November 15th.
“Thank you for getting on the bus to take the Fortnite test!” It said.
The developers did not give any specific indications as to why the game was shut down. But it comes amid increasing restrictions in the country: From this summer, for example, young people will only be allowed to play video games for three hours a week.
The Chinese version of Fortnite has always been different from what players in the rest of the world know. It included a number of changes, including the removal of any depictions of skulls, a change so that players only had control over “holograms” that were separated to avoid depictions of violence, and reminders of players after the 90s Minutes that they should go and study instead.
Not all of these changes were the result of restrictions within China, according to the Fortnite on China Wiki. Some came about because the competing and similar game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, was released earlier and the developers were trying to make the game more accessible to those who had recently switched.