Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced in a tweet Wednesday that “Epic supports the rights of Fortnite players and creators to speak about politics and human rights.” This statement comes after news that video game developer and publisher Blizzard suspended an esports player after he called for the liberation of Hong Kong during a live stream this past weekend.
News of the suspension made waves throughout the gaming community as well as the Blizzard campus in Irvine, CA where a small group of Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work Tuesday afternoon to protest the company’s actions. And in a contrast it seems that Tim Sweeney felt it necessary to weigh in via Twitter regarding Epic Games’ stance on the controversy after it was pointed out that Epic Games is largely owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Sweeney did address the fact that his company is 40 percent owned by Tencent, who adheres to the strict Chinese guidelines of internet censorship, but maintained that he was the “controlling shareholder” of Epic Games and stated “there are many other shareholders including employees and investors.”
While some remained skeptical, many applauded Sweeney on taking the stance of staying politically neutral and embracing players rights to free speech. Further in the conversation, another Twitter user asked if Epic Games would ever cut ties with an esports player over a similar censorship situation. See Sweeney’s response:
Yes, absolutely. That will never happen on my watch as the founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 9, 2019
We will continue to cover any new developments in the battles over censorship regarding video game companies. And as always, let us know what you think below or come join the conversation over at Facebook or Twitter.