Earlier this year, the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry created a furore among Fortnite lovers when he slammed the makers of the popular videogame.
“That game shouldn’t be allowed. It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible,” he was quoted as saying at an event in London.
Epic Games, creator of Fortnite which currently has over 250 million players around the world, finally hit back suggesting that the Prince has got it twisted.
“We were quite taken aback and really rather surprised because the statements that were made, in our view, couldn't be further from the truth from our intentions and design philosophy,” Epic Games senior counsel Canon Pence was quoted by the BBC.
Epic Games and fellow videogames company Electronic Arts (EA), which makes Fifa and Battlefield, were requested to give evidence at the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) Committee meeting regarding how harmful social media and online gaming can be for young people.
The Committee is reportedly planning on a safety plans known as the Online Harms White Paper.
Pence and head of marketing Matthew Weissinger represented Epic Games, while UK manager Shaun Campbell and legal expert Kerry Hopkins spoke on behalf of EA.
Representatives of Google, YouTube and Instagram have reportedly already spoken to the committee regarding the effects of social media on youngsters.
Wissinger reportedly added that Fortnite has a number of parental controls that stops young users from spending lots of money on the game. “We're not interested in maximising profit from our players, we want to have an open and honest relationship,” he was quoted.
Epic Games and EA also reportedly disagree over World Health Organisation’s classification of “gaming disorder” pertaining to the overuse and play of videogames.
“I think the use of the term addiction unfortunately masks the passion that our players have and the joy they get from playing our games, I think the term is a mischaracterisation,” Pence was quoted as saying.
He reportedly added that more work was needed to be done for the upcoming white paper and that it’s a good start to protect its players.