Fortnite quits China as the Chinese government tightens regulations of the games industry
Epic Games has shut down servers for Fortnite in China on November 15. The development comes after Tencent, Fortnite’s local publisher, failed to get government approval for the full release of the game. Up till now, Tencent has been operating Fortnite as a limited release with many features turned off. The limited launch allowed the game to work for three years but without any monetization. So, during this time Fortnite didn’t make any money which resulted in Tencent losing US$200 billion in market valuation in the first seven months of the game’s release.
China refusing to approve Fortnite is a reflection of the country’s tightened regulations of the video games industry. Although China is the biggest gaming market and generates US$42 billion every year, most of the revenue is generated by local properties. Foreign video games are finding it increasingly hard to get approval from Chinese regulators. For instance, during the last three months, no game has managed to get the green signal from the government.
The stringent policies are likely to continue as President Xi Jinping has repeatedly expressed concerns about the adverse health effects of video games on kids. While policies such as the three hours per week playtime limit aren’t enforced by the government, they are enough to make video game companies hesitant about developing games for the Chinese market even though it is the biggest on the planet.