Fortnite Shutting Down Service to China

Services End November 14th

The announcement was made by the Fortnite China branch. Services will no longer be available in 14 days, and sign up shuts off today. The game brings in over $5 Billion in revenue every year, and the industry was entirely changed by the ground breaking battle royale meta its success standardized.

The reason for such an abrupt closure of services is not concretely known. However, some speculate it could be due to the growing restrictions on gaming in China. Recently the Chinese government has limited online gaming to only 3 hours a day for children under the age of 18. With such a restriction, it brings into question if certain online games are even viable to market towards kids anymore.

Gaming as a Pass Time

Statistically speaking, video game playtime is on the rise. Mobile gaming has become a huge market due to the advancements of modern smartphones. The average amount of time a young adult spends gaming is around 8 hours. Half of people playing games nowadays consider themselves “casual gamers,” meaning there’s a 50/50 split between multiplayer and single-player gaming.

For Young Adults Gaming is a Major Pass Time – From the Limelight Network

3 hours a week is roughly 0.43 hours a day. That’s about 25 minutes of play time a day. Today there are very few online games you can manage to get through in such a short amount of time. For example, League of Legends matches are around 30-40 minutes long. CS:GO games last 30 minutes on average, but could last up to 90 minutes. And a game of Fortnite averages around 30 minutes if you’re in it to win it.

Will Games Get Shorter?

Optimistically, this limitation in game time is in hour time slots from Friday to Sunday, meaning the actual amount of playtime will be 1 hour. That’s enough for 3 games of Fortnite if you’re lucky. However, if you’re unlucky in a game of League, you’ve just waisted your gaming time to a feeding Kai’sa dragging the game on for 50 minutes. On the other hand, CS:GO has new short matches. A game can be as short as 9 rounds instead of the standard 16.

The limits only seem to apply to online gaming as well. This means there could be a sharp increase in single-player, or “casual” mobile gaming to fill the hole of multiplayer. Most “gamers” today are actually on the mobile platforms to begin with. Games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush are still wildly popular pass times for many.

Mobile Gaming is on the Rise

Regulation Instead of Parenting

The Chinese government has basically labeled gaming a drug, and are regulating it as such. The country has a history of treating addiction to video games in very absurd ways. Until 2009, electric shock therapy was used to treat gaming addictions. The language used by government reps today compares gaming to “spiritual opium.”

Chinese parents seem to think parenting is something the government should be in charge of. During the early 2000s, parents were complaining about video game addictions. While some might think to just limit playtime apparently in China the response was to ban home consoles.

The country hosts almost 720 million gamers, and near 100 million of those players are under the age of 18. A running joke in the gaming community has been the age of Fortnite players. It’s no secret that the average age of fans is on the low side. With a PEGI 12 rating, and a cartoonish art style, its hard to ignore the financial effect China’s policies could have on limiting online game time.

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