Why is the Fortnite video game going to pull out of China?

the essential The publisher of Fortnite has decided that its video game will no longer be accessible in China from 15 November. Already, since Monday, November 1, it no longer accepts new Chinese players. We explain why.

The video game phenomenon Fortnite, which brings together millions of online followers around the world, will withdraw from China, announced its publisher Epic Games, at a time when the communist power tightens the screw on the digital sector.

The Chinese authorities, which are particularly picky about competition and personal data issues, have indeed pinned down several heavyweights in the sector for practices hitherto largely tolerated. Video games, which in China represent a significant financial windfall but are criticized for their addictive side among young people, has not been spared.

3 hours of video games per week for children under 18 years

In August, the authorities imposed a drastic limit of 3 hours of video games per week for under 18 years, while some could spend days glued to their screen. In this context, the American publisher of Fortnite will permanently close the Chinese version of the game, he said.

“The 15 November at hours, we will shut down the game servers and players will no longer be able to connect, “Epic Games wrote in a statement on Sunday. Already since Monday, November 1, the game no longer accepts new players in China, said the company, which counts among its shareholders the Chinese giant of the Internet Tencent.

Fortnite, is one of the most popular games in the world, with more than 350 millions of users , more than the American population. Launched in 2017, Fortnite is a game called “battle royale”, where the participants seek to be the last to survive.

The game has a specific version in China where violent, obscene or politically sensitive content is strictly regulated.

Billions in revenue

While downloading Fortnite is free, it generates billions in revenue with the purchase of additional content by players , like outfits and dance moves, for their characters. has become a worldwide phenomenon, to the point that certain games are now followed live by millions of spectators.

With this audience, Fortnite has opened up in recent months to collaborations with celebrities who appear occasionally in the game in the form of avatars. This is the case of the American singer Ariana Grande who had performed some of her songs for a weekend this summer. Epic Games had already launched events with American rapper Travis Scott and Brazilian soccer star Neymar.

Citing a “difficult environment”, Microsoft’s professional social network LinkedIn also announced last month its next withdrawal from China.

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