Members of the British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee met with representatives of Epic Games and Electronic Arts earlier today to discuss the British government’s concerns over the issue of game addiction. In the session, the members of parliament took a hard line, with the Epic Games representatives appearing flustered and surprised by the MPs’s aggressive questioning.
When Conservative MP Damian Collins asked Epic to respond to Prince Harry’s statement that Fortnite is designed to induce game addiction, Epic general counsel Canon Pence was taken aback.
“It’s always been our effort and intent to create a fun, fair, flexible, engaging, and generous form of interactive entertainment for our audience,” said Pence, “and I feel like a statement that suggests that it was some sort of nefarious attempt to extract short-term profit is a real mischaracterization.”
Though Pence stressed Epic’s engagement with its audience, Epic Games director of marketing Matthew Weissinger was unable to provide the committee with a definition of a “frequent” Fortnite player. “I’m not sure if ‘frequency’ is the term we would use...we look at it in terms of whether somebody has played in the last two weeks or 30 days,” said Weissinger.
As the controversy surrounding gaming addiction continues to grow, Epic Games’ statements on the matter reflect their concerns over the effect of anti-gaming legislation on their ability to operate smoothly. You can check out the full video of the committee meeting, including the questioning of Electronic Arts representatives, here.