The game has stopped accepting registrations for new players and has not been available for download since Monday, according to a statement posted on its website. Its servers will be shut down on November 15, which means players will no longer be able to log into the game.
The hit multiplayer battle title, developed by Epic Games, launched in China in July 2018 in partnership with Tencent (TCEHY). The Chinese internet and gaming giant bought a roughly 40% stake in Epic Games almost a decade ago.
This week’s announcement described Fortnite in China as a “beta test” version of the game. He did not say why the game was stopping, but thanked the players who participated in the release.
Tencent declined to comment on CNN Business when asked for more details on the Chinese version of the title and the reason for its closure. Epic Games declined to comment beyond the statement announcing the shutdown.
The game was “never approved” by the Chinese government and therefore could not officially launch and monetize its services, tweeted Daniel Ahmad
, senior analyst at Niko Partners who covers the video game market in China and Asia.
“Fortnite” largely operates as a free-to-play game with in-app purchases – meaning players can download the game for free, but then spend real money on items like costumes for their characters.
Ahmad added that the battle royale genre “has been strictly regulated in China.”
In recent times, Chinese authorities have also cracked down on video games. In August, the country banned online gamers under the age of 18 from playing on weekdays and limited their play to just three hours on most weekends.
In September, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that authorities called Tencent, NetEase and other companies to discuss restrictions on the streaming and playing of underage video games.
During the meeting, companies were “urged to break away from the lonely goal of seeking profit or attracting players and fans,” according to the report.
– Michelle Toh contributed to this report.