Prince Harry, who is expecting his first child with wife Meghan Markle and is sixth in line for succession of the British throne, has long made known his disdain for the blockbuster video game Fortnite, sharing concerns about the title while visiting young schoolchildren in Sussex late last year.
Now, however, the Duke of Sussex has ratcheted up that criticism, calling for an outright ban of the game across the U.K. — despite the fact that Fortnte remains one of the most popular titles on earth, having netted parent company Epic Games $2.4 billion last year alone, and clocking 200 million registered users worldwide.
“That game shouldn’t be allowed,” Harry said during a visit to a YMCA in West London, per the BBC. “Where is the benefit of having it in your household? It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible. It’s like waiting for the damage to be done, and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down.”
Harry also criticized social media as a whole, calling it “more addictive than alcohol and drugs,” according to the BBC — despite the fact that he just launched an Instagram account on Tuesday, nabbing a record 1 million followers in roughly six hours. (Instagram reportedly nabbed the SussexRoyal handle from a local driving instructor without asking permission and gave it to the royal couple, according to the BBC).
Harry’s comments arrived ahead of yesterday’s 15th annual British Academy Games Awards — an awards show that fetes achievements in the gaming industry. The BBC pegs the U.K. gaming market at a whopping $7.4 billion. The outlet also notes that other countries, like China, are taking increasingly serious action to crack down on gaming addiction. Local internet company Tencent, for instance, checks the identities and ages of its users against a police database, and only enables children under 12 to play games on its platform for one hour per day. Teens can play for up to two hours, according to the BBC, but not during night-time.