With the USA looking into Chinese-owned company Tencent, many Fortnite and Legends players are worried about the future of their games.
Ahead of TikTok’s high-profile ban, the Chinese tech giant is reportedly placed under meticulous US investigation.
The controversy involving TikTok’s alleged security concerns in the USA have been going on for a few months now, with the site shortly slated to be blocked for its US users.
In line with the news, more companies with strong China ties are also allegedly being investigated.
TikTok and other Chinese-backed apps are warned of breaching privacy and data concerns, specifically from the US government.
This includes video game publishers under the Chinese parent company Tencent Holdings, which has been reportedly contacted by the Committee of Foreign Investment.
If anything, titular games such as Fortnite and League of Legends could be affected by the investigation into Tencent.
CFIUS, or The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States, is responsible for reviewing the country’s data and possible security implications in terms of foreign investment. Accordingly, it is chaired by the Treasury Department.
In a Bloomberg report, it seems like the CFIUS has now sent letters of inquiry to big video game companies like Epic Games, Riot Games, and others owned by Tencent. It seeks to know their current security protocols for handling the personal data of their player base.
“Tencent’s U.S. gaming investments, including Riot Games, Epic Games and Activision Blizzard may be at risk of forced divestment similar to ByteDance’s TikTok with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. launching an inquiry on national security grounds. We estimate Tencent’s U.S. assets could be worth at least $22 billion, and account for 6-7% of its sales and profits.”
Though both video game publishers majorly operate outside of the United States, Tencent Holdings has strong ties to the companies in question— owning Riot Games and having a 40% stake in Epic Games.
Growing player concerns
The news made many Fortnite and LoL players concerned about the future of the games in the USA.
However, it remains unclear if these companies will be banned in the country similar to TikTok.
Players will have to wait for the results of the investigation, since it all depends on whether they pass the verdict of the CFIUS.
Most recently, Riot Games began to expand into titles such as Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra. More games are planned on the way— but the US government’s decision could greatly affect millions of US-based players.
It’s also worth noting that this is not the only controversy involving Epic Games at present, since their on-going feud with Apple prevents iOS users from playing Fortnite.
The ban is still in place even after the company initially started the ‘Free Fortnite’ movement.
Aside from TikTok and these Tencent-backed gaming publishers, Tencent’s WeChat app is also reported to be put into thorough investigation.
With over 300 investments in the USA backed by Tencent Holdings, such as a small stake in Activision Blizzard, any decision made by the US government could greatly impact the company’s future plans in the country.