A few days ago, we reported that the Trump government had decided to ban both WeChat and TikTok, citing issues of national security. Various countries had previously raised concerns about the extent of data the apps use. The apps in question were two of the 59 such projects that the Indian government had recently banned, including PUBG Mobile. The move has resulted in quite a few Fortnite fans being left in a state of panic.
This is because, like WeChat, Fortnite is also owned, in part, by Tencent. The company’s various assets include a 40% stake in Epic Games, who are the developers of Fortnite. A similar situation arose when the Trump government banned transactions on WeChat and TikTok. As the text used in the issued order was vague, it led people to believe that transactions on Fortnite had also been banned.
However, it was later confirmed that the order did not deal with gaming companies. Regardless, the situation might not be the same, this time around.
Is Fortnite getting banned in the United States?
Back in early August, various sources reported that the US government would start banning Chinese apps with messaging and video sharing platforms, and that they would then turn their attention to the gaming industry next.
Furthermore, it was recently reported that both Epic Games and Riot Games have already received letters from the US committee on Foreign investment.
At present, the companies have been asked to provide information on their security protocols, with respect to the data handling of United States citizens. While Tencent only has a 40% stake in Epic, it is a major shareholder in Riot Games, who own popular titles such as League of Legends and Valorant.
This does not necessarily mean trouble though. As a matter of fact, if the Trump government is happy with the way these companies handle American citizens’ data, they will survive the scrutiny. However, it must be remembered that one of Tencent’s holdings - WeChat, has already been banned after a similar investigation.
Furthermore, the current US government has already shown a tendency to be strict with their trade-related decisions. While it might still be some time until the government decides on the matter, Fortnite could definitely be in danger of getting banned in the US. Of course, this will be hugely detrimental to Epic Games, who boast a huge market in the country.Published 22 Sep 2020, 21:20 IST