Power Players

Prince Harry says video game Fortnite is 'irresponsible' and should be banned

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Samir Hussein | WireImage | Getty Images

Prince Harry isn't a dad yet — he and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child this spring — in but it already sounds like he might put a limit on how much time his future children spend playing video games.

The Duke of Sussex isn't a fan of the massively popular online game Fortnite, with the British royal going as far as to call for a ban of the game at an event at a West London YMCA on Thursday.

"That game shouldn't be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?" Prince Harry told reporters at the event, according to the BBC. Prince Harry added that he thinks Fortnite is too addictive, especially for young players.

"It's created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible," the prince said Thursday. "It's so irresponsible."

The free-to-play Fortnite, made by video game company Epic Games, is a multi-player, "battle royale" survival game pitting 100 players against each other at a time. The players look for weapons and tools to try and build structures while killing each other in an effort to be the last person standing.

The game launched in 2017 and quickly became one of the world's most popular video games, with more than 250 million registered players around the world, as of last month. The game has had 10.8 million people playing at any given time, Epic Games said in March. And, while other games (including Electronic Arts' "Apex Legends") have recently seen a surge in popularity to challenge Fortnite, the latter is still potentially worth as much as $12 billion as a franchise for Epic Games, according to one estimate.

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But, the massive popularity of Fortnite has also come with concerns that the game is addictive, with such complaints coming from everyone from parents to spouses and employers. Even the World Health Organization weighed in on the issue of addictive video games last summer, with WHO officially recognizing "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition afflicting gamers who can lack control over their playing habits for periods of months at a time.

Prince Harry previously expressed his Fortnite concerns in October, when he reportedly told a group of 8-year-old UK students that they "shouldn't really play Fortnite," at their age.

In the past, the Duke of Sussex has talked openly about playing video games, and he even drew some criticism in 2013 for seemingly comparing his role in the military, as co-pilot of an Apache helicopter, to using a video-game controller.

"It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful," he told The Telegraph about manning a helicopter's weapons in 2013.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry also has concerns about the addictive potential of social media, which the Duke of Sussex said on Thursday is "more addictive than alcohol and drugs."

Despite the comment, Prince Harry and Markle recently launched their own official Instagram page for the House of Sussex on Tuesday. 

A representative for Epic Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Don't Miss: Here's how the company behind the billion-dollar "Fortnite" was founded by a college kid

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This 26-year-old is making $500,000 a month playing video games