Could games like Fortnite or League of Legends, or the Unreal Engine be banned in the United States? Well as they are in things, there is no resounding answer …
Donald Trump’s crusade against Chinese companies that have access to the personal data of Americans continues. After the veto of Huawei and the ban this Sunday downloading TikTok and WeChat in the United States (TikTok alone has 100 million users in the country), a Bloomberg informs ensures that the US government is investigating Epic Games and Riot Games.
It is a different case because both are North American companies, but they are wholly or partially owned by the Chinese giant Tencent. Specific Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and 100% of Riot Games.
Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite and the graphics engine Unreal Engineas well as the PC game store Epic Games Store. Riot Games is the developer of the popular multiplayer game League of Legends, and the recent success Valuing.
Tencent is one of the largest Chinese technology companies. She owns WeChat, which the Trump administration just banned, but she also owns shares in numerous video game companies around the world. Not only does she own Riot and own 40% of Epic Games. It is also the owner of Funcom, owns 83% of Supercell, and owns at least 5% of Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Sumo Digital or Paradox. Even 5% Tesla.
According to the report, the United States government will carry out an inspection of Epic Games and Riot Games security protocols, as well as other companies in which Tencent has shares, to assess whether the data of US citizens is accessed by the Chinese government.
When asked about it a year ago, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said that “I am the majority shareholder of Epic Games, and have been since 1991. We now have several outside investors. Tencent is the biggest. All Epic investors are our friends and partners. No one can dictate decisions to Epic. None have access to Epic customer data“.
If Tim Sweeney’s claims are correct, Epic Games shouldn’t have a problem with the US government. Its blocking would be a catastrophe for the world of video games: Fortnite is one of the most played titles in the world, and the Unreal Engine is used by thousands of companies to create their games.
More problematic seems the situation of Riot Games, a company that owns 100% Tencent. At the moment their representatives have not made any statements.