Fortnite maker Epic Games has said that it will not "ban or punish" its users for say their piece on human rights or sharing their political views.
Speaking to The Verge, the US developer, publisher and tech firm also said that players taking part in esports events like the Fortnite World Cup don't need to be concerned about losing their winnings for their political views, either.
"Epic supports everyone’s right to express their views on politics and human rights," Epic said in a statement.
"We wouldn’t ban or punish a Fortnite player or content creator for speaking on these topics."
On Twitter (below), CEO Tim Sweeney (pictured) said that the company "supports everyone's right to speak freely," with Chinese players free to criticise the US and vice versa.
This follows Blizzard banning pro Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from competitive play after he called for Hong Kong's independence in a post-match interview for the Grandmasters esports tournament. He also would not be receiving any prize money. There has been a backlash against Blizzard since, with the company's subreddit closed and various other protests taking place.
Some have speculated that Blizzard took the above action because Activision Blizzard is part-owned by Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent - roughly five per cent of the company - while the games firm is also partnered with Chinese outfit NetEase for publishing in the country.
That argument falls somewhat flat taking into consideration that Epic has owned in the region of 40 per cent of Epic Games since 2012.
Epic supports everyone’s right to speak freely. China players of Fortnite are free to criticize the US or criticize Epic just as equally as all others.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 9, 2019