Video games: Fortnite now inaccessible in China

Posted Nov 15, 2021 7:54 am

Fortnite in China is over. One of the world’s most popular online games, boasting millions of fans, is no longer available in China, players confirmed on Monday, after the deadline set by its US publisher. Epic Games announced earlier this month that it would stop the China-specific version of Fornite, where violent, obscene or politically sensitive content is strictly regulated. Fortnite is one of the most popular games today, with more than 350 million users to its name, more than the US population.

This decision comes in a context of tightening regulations in China aimed at the digital sector. Beijing has decided to significantly strengthen its regulatory arsenal in favor of data protection, with a data security law in force since September, and another, scheduled for this November, on the protection of personal data, on the model of General Protection European Data. Regulation (GDPR).

A denounced sector

The video game sector, which represents a significant financial gain in China but is criticized for its addictive side among young people, has not been spared. In August, the authorities imposed a drastic limit of three hours of video games a week for those under 18 years of age, while some could spend days glued to their screens. Fortnite, which is free to download, generates billions in revenue from player purchases of additional items for their characters, including outfits.

Gambling quickly became a global phenomenon, to the point that millions of viewers now watch some games live. With this audience, Fortnite has been opening up, in recent months, to collaborations with celebrities who occasionally appear in the game in the form of avatars.

Fortnite is not the first foreign company on the web to close the door to the Chinese market, so operating there is tricky. This was the case for LinkedIn in mid-October and then for Yahoo! beginnings of November.

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