Fortnite Will Not Be Released In China

Fortnite's test version in China will not be seen through to a full release.

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Fortnite will not get an official release in China. After a period of testing for the past two years, it's been announced that Fortnite will not be released in an official capacity in the country.

Analyst Daniel Ahmad, who covers the video game markets for Niko Partners in China, said on Twitter that it's not true that the game is shutting down, per se, because it never officially was released. The version that was available since 2019 did not include any in-app purchase system and was more akin to a test version, Ahmad said. The game was never approved by the Chinese government, and Ahmad believes the cost of any changes it might need to make the game to appease regulators and cover associated licensing payments are not worth it for the stakeholders.

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"Fortnite never officially launched in China The game has been undergoing testing for the past 2+ years and does not include IAP This is because the game was never approved by the govt and therefore could not officially launch + monetize. Hence the shut down now," Ahmad said.

Ahmad mentioned how battle royale games in particular are "strictly regulated" in China, and games must make significant changes to be approved. As an example, PUBG for PC has not been approved for release in China. The Chinese version of PUBG Mobile is called Game For Peace, and it apparently doesn't have any blood.

"The battle royale genre has been strictly regulated in China. The domestic games that are approved there have heavy content changes. E.g. No blood / dead bodies / theme is 'military training' and not 'last man standing etc... PUBG PC wasn't approved in China either," Ahmad said. "They had a licensing agreement for x years and it's clear that the cost of changes / operating the game / extending the license does not make sense anymore, given there is no approval for it at this point."

In the US and other parts of the west, Fortnite remains massively popular in the growing field of battle royale. Other top battle royale games include PUBG, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone, the latter of which is getting a big Warzone Pacific refresh in December.

For more, check out GameSpot's rundown of 15 games like Fortnite you might like.

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