Prince Harry was wrong to call Fortnite addictive, say makers of the game

Rebecca Speare-Cole

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

Prince Harry said the game "should not be allowed" and was "created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible".

He made the comments during a visit in April to the YMCA in South Ealing, west London, in which he discussed how it could have a negative effect on young people's mental health.

He said at the time: "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."

The Duke of Sussex made the comments on a visit to the YMCA in South Ealing. (PA)

However, Canon Pence, general counsel for Fortnite developers Epic Games, said the firm was surprised by the duke's view.

He 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.

"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," he continued.

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."

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.