Gaming addiction: Prince Harry wrong to call Fortnite addictive, say makers

Last updated at 17:32
Fans left fuming at Fortnite festivalAnadolu Agency

Fortnite and Fifa are some of the most popular games in the world, with nearly 300 million players combined.

But there have been concerns about how these games might lead to addiction by encouraging gamers to play for long periods of time or buy in-game purchases.

Earlier this year, the World Heath Organization (WHO) officially listed 'gaming disorder' as an illness, and the Duke of Sussex said Fortnite was "created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible".

On Wednesday, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee - which is made up of Members of Parliament (MPs) from various parties - questioned people from Electronic Arts (EA) and Epic Games about immersive and addictive technologies.

Canon-Pence.PA
Canon Pence is the lawyer for Fortnite developers, Epic Games

The makers of popular battle royale game Fortnite have suggested that the Duke of Sussex was wrong to say the platform is addictive.

Canon Pence, a lawyer for Fortnite developers Epic Games, said the company was surprised by Prince Harry's view.

Mr Pence said that the suggestion that the company set out to gain short-term profit was a "real mischaracterisation".

The statements that were made, in our view, couldn't be further from the truth from our intentions and design philosophy.

Canon Pence, Lawyer for Epic Games
@sussexroyal's latest instagram post.Instagram/@sussexroyal
This is post shared to @sussexroyal's Instagram account on 3 April, which references the meeting at which Harry discussed the mental health of young people and made comments about social media

When asked by committee chairman Damian Collins whether or not Mr Pence thought that the Duke had got it wrong or had a lack of understanding about the game, he responded: "I do."

Prince Harry made the comments in a meeting about young people's mental health in west London in April, in which he discussed negative impacts on the mental health of young people.

He said the platforms can be "addictive" and that they are all the more dangerous "because it's normalised and there are no restrictions to it".

EA was also asked by the committee about the issue and about how long users could spend playing games like Fifa.

The company's UK manager Shaun Campbell said that while the game was indeed designed to be "engaging and fun to play", he said EA wanted players to take a "healthy and balanced approach to playing games, just like anything else".

If you are at all worried about gaming or any of the issues that you've read in this article, there are lots of places that you can go for support.

You can speak to an adult that you trust like a relative or a teacher.

BBC's Own It have an article on keeping gaming fun and who you can speak to if you're worried you might need help with an addiction.

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