Popular online action game Fortnite went offline in China on Monday, two weeks after the game’s developer announced the end of a trial period by the country’s authorities amid an offensive against the gaming industry. and technology.
In early November, developer Epic Games said it would shut down its Fortnite servers due to the challenges of complying with strict restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on the games and technology markets.
Starting Monday morning, Chinese players took to social media to confirm that they could no longer access Fortnite, in accordance with the timeline that Epic Games had described.
A hashtag about the game on Chinese social media site Weibo has reportedly been viewed 470 million times, according to AFP, with some users saying the situation had left them crying, while others issued a farewell message, saying “We will meet again if fate decrees it.”
Fortnite launched in China for beta testing in 2018, but the government never formally approved it, making it difficult for the company behind it to monetize the game’s content.
China has stepped up its crackdown on games in recent years, seeking to block content that contained what it considers excessive violence. The situation forced a developer, Tencent, to release a blood-free version of its battle royale game ‘Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ to secure support from regulators.
Among the restrictions imposed on the sector in China, the country’s government has sought to impose a curfew on gambling for minors. Recently, it further tightened the previously imposed restrictions, limiting online gaming to one-hour increments for those under 18 between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Chinese standard time on Fridays, weekends and holidays.
China’s state media had previously estimated that around 62.5% of those under the age of 18 in China play video games online regularly, and 13.2% of that age group play mobile games for more than two hours a day. day during the week.
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