Could games like Fortnite, League of Legends, or 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 on downloading TikTok and WeChat in the United States (only TikTok has 100 million users in the country), Bloomberg’s report ensures that the United States government is investigating Epic Games and Riot Games.
It is a different case because both are North American companies, but the Chinese giant Tencent wholly or partially owns them. Specifically, Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and 100% of Riot Games.
Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, the Unreal Engine graphics engine, and the Epic Games Store for PC games. Riot Games is the developer of the popular multiplayer League of Legends and the recent hit Valorant.
Tencent is one of the biggest Chinese tech companies. She owns WeChat, which the Trump administration just banned, and shares with numerous video game companies worldwide. Not only does she hold Riot and own 40% of Epic Games. It is also the owner of Funcom, which owns 83% of Supercell. And has at least 5% of Ubisoft, Activision Wizard, Sumo Digital, or Paradox. Even 5% Tesla.
According to the report, the United States government will inspect the security protocols of Epic Games. And Riot Games and other companies that Tencent have shared to assess whether the Chinese government accesses US citizens’ data.
When asked about the issue a year ago, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said, “I am the majority shareholder of Epic Games and have been since 1991. We now have several outside investors. Tencent is the greatest. All Epic investors are our friends and partners. No one can dictate decisions to Epic. No one has access to Epic customer data. “
If Tim Sweeney’s claims are correct, Epic Games should have no 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 worldwide. 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% of Tencent. At the moment, their representatives have not made any statements.