The United States government has started taking a poke around some of the larger game companies. Their interest isn't with video game violence, like it normally is, but with their involvement regarding Chinese tech giant Tencent.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the Trump administration's Committee on Foreign Investment recently sent letters to both Epic Games and Riot Games asking for information regarding their data security protocols. The Committee specializes in investigating national security risks within foreign businesses and their involvement in American companies. The letters sent to Epic and Riot pertain to the handling of customers private data.
So why those two companies?
Tencent has a much larger hold on American video games than most people realize. They hold a small percentage stake in companies like Activision Blizzard and Glue Mobile, but they hold an impressive 40 percent stake in Epic Games, and wholly owns Riot Games. This increased involvement in these companies, paired with the massive success of League of Legends and Fortnite, are what led to the Committee's concern.
This isn't exactly an out-of-the-blue course of action, either. The current administration has taken a particular interest in Tencent and the properties they own in the United States. The Trump Administration previously pressured Tencent to relinquish ownership of TikTok in the United States. And after that was refused, an upcoming national order will prohibit any transactions between Tencent and Americans.
In the past, LA Times reporter Sam Dean claimed that this dispute wouldn't affect the video game industry, and was primarily targeted at WeChat and TikTok. Though given their newfound interest in these game companies, were feeling a bit skeptical.
There's no certainty as to how, if at all, this will affect the consumers. There is a fair chance that it wont change anything for us. Time will tell.