After a week of teasing, it has been confirmed that Fortnite: Battle Royale will be making its way to the Chinese region. With it comes a sizeable $15 million investment into its competitive scene, helping to transform the super-massive hit into a go-to eSport across the world.
Players received their first nod to the title making its way over to the region when the official Twitter page posted that “The Battle Bus is taking off! Destination, China,” accompanied by an image of a passport headed to Bejing.
A spokesperson for the Chinese publisher Tencent has since revealed that it will be handling the title’s transition over to the East, as it famously has for the mobile version of Fortnite’s direct competitor, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The move makes a lot of sense for Fortnite developer Epic Games, as Tencent already holds a 40 percent stake in the company.
The Battle Bus is taking off!
Destination, China. pic.twitter.com/UTGHx86RRA
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) April 20, 2018
Tencent is coaxing potential Chinese players with exclusive items to those that pre-order within the region, according to DoNews, while those who already own the game and play on international servers will be given the ability to transfer their data to the newly introduced local infrastructure.
Although both titles are two of the biggest games in the world, this move gives Fortnite: Battle Royale a chance to move beyond its dominance in the West and truly overthrow PUBG, which has managed to cling onto the lead thanks to its foothold in the East.
PUBG’s move into the Chinese market has been a controversial one, with many cheaters said to be originating from the region. While it took a while, PUBG Corp is finally considering the potential of a regional server lock, however both Epic Games and Tencent have yet to express the same interest.
No release date has been announced surrounding the Chinese servers going live, however the ‘issue date’ of the passport within the tweeted image does open-endedly state April, meaning players should keep their eyes peeled within the next week.
KitGuru Says: Fortnite: Battle Royale is about to get a lot more popular, but it’s undoubtedly in for a rough ride from the sceptical players that have been burned by past experiences. How do you feel about the move into the Chinese market? It does mean more money pumped into the title, after all.