Prince Harry under fire for slamming Fortnite

Video game makers have said Prince Harry was wrong to call Fortnite addictive and suggested he misunderstood the game.

The royal family don’t often comment on the world of video games but back in April, Prince Harry insisted that Fortnite was, ‘created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible’.

And now this week developer Epic Games has defended Fortnite to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, saying that Prince Harry’s comments were a ‘real mischaracterisation’.

‘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 and just our multi-decade approach to developing a long-term healthy and sustainable approach with our audience,’ said Epic’s Canon Pence.

‘It’s really always been our effort and intent to create a fun, fair, flexible, engaging and generous form of interactive entertainment for our audience and so I feel like a statement that suggests that there was some sort of nefarious attempt to extract short-term profit is a real mischaracterisation,’ added Pence.

Pence then asked whether he though the Prince was wrong or misunderstood the game, to which he answered: ‘I do’.

Both Epic Games and EA are at Parliament this week to defend their practices, including loot boxes – which FIFA publisher EA compared to Kinder Eggs and insisted are ‘quite fair’.

Prince Harry’s comments were made at the same time that he also criticised social media for being too addictive, which happened to be during the same month he and his wife started their massively popular Instagram page.

EA also criticised the World Health Organisation (WHO) decision to classify gaming disorder as a recognised illness, although many more impartial sources have also questioned the general lack of research on the subject.

‘I don’t think we can agree to say that games are addictive and I actually don’t believe the World Health Organisation decision to designate a gaming disorder uses the word ‘addiction’ or refers to games as being addictive,’ said EA’s Kerry Hopkins.

‘What it doesn’t say is that games are inherently addictive, what it says is some people suffer from a disorder and the World Health Organisation put out a video and said what we’re not saying is that people who play a long time, play a lot of hours are addicted or have a disorder, they said it’s something a doctor would need to diagnose.’

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