The makers of popular battle royale game Fortnite have suggested the Duke of Sussex was wrong to say the platform is addictive.
Speaking in April, Harry said the game was “created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible”.
Canon Pence, general counsel for Fortnite developers Epic Games, said the firm was surprised by the duke’s view and said that any implication the company set out to gain short-term profit was 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,” he told the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
“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.”
When asked by committee chairman Damian Collins whether Mr Pence thought the duke had got it wrong or had a lack of understanding about the game, he responded: “I do.”
Harry made his comments about Fortnite during a visit to the YMCA in South Ealing, west London, in which he discussed negative impacts on the mental health of young people.
“Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol, and it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised and there are no restrictions to it,” he said at the time.
Mr Pence appeared before the committee alongside Matthew Weissinger, Epic Games’ director of marketing, as well as representatives from Electronic Arts, to answer MPs’ questions about immersive and addictive technologies.