Fortnite China appears to be shutting down

According to the official Chinese website, Fortnite's limited run will end in November. In China, Epic's smash hit is a very different game, with premium currency unlocked through play rather than real money.

It's unclear how popular Fortnite was in China, but it's over now: After November 1st, no one will be able to register or download the game, and the servers will be shut down. The game's availability was billed as a test, and the shutdown announcement mentions it as such.

China's version of Fortnite differed significantly from the rest of the world. Because the matches were shorter, multiple players could claim a Victory Royale as long as they stayed alive. Other mechanics, such as a separate health bar for storm damage, were changed to make the game more casual.

The shutdown announcement was widely disseminated thanks to Twitter user, who posted a screencap of the announcement after it had been translated using software.

On social media, there's a lot of speculation that the shutdown has something to do with China's crackdown on online gaming. The audience for Fortnite is overwhelmingly younger, and China actively discourages young people from playing online games, even using facial recognition to do so.

In other recent news, Chinese Bitcoin miners have gone underground as a result of the Chinese government's declaration that virtual currency is illegal.