Epic Games' Fortnite was initially released in 2017, but it remains to be one of the most popular multiplayer games online. However, they have had their fair share of controversies and are yet again under fire after banning a 9-year-old kid from playing the game until he has turned 13.
Young Fortnite gamer is banned for four years
According to GameRant, many Fortnite players are under the age of 13. They have therefore implemented rules that prevent anyone below 13 to enter competitive modes with cash prizes. For competitive game types that do not include a cash prize, gamers below the required age should have the permission of their parents before entering.
However, that didn't seem to be the case with 9-year-old Fortnite gamer and streamer known Zenon when he found himself banned from the game for 1,460 days--or essentially until he turns 13.
Zenon was banned from the game after Epic Games found out that he joined matches in the Arena Mode, which is a competitive game type but does not include a cash prize.
And so, the young player asked his father for permission, which was given to him as his father was sitting beside him while he was streaming the Arena mode matches. But that didn't stop Epic Games from implementing the ban. The news came in the middle of his live stream and sent him into tears.
The young Brazilian Fortnite player did get banned from competitive types when he joined Cash Cups before. But the recent implementation of his ban made no sense, which is why many players came to his defense on Twitter and the hashtag #FreeZenon trended.
One of them was world-renowned Fortnite player Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who finally broke his silence following the news, as per Comicbook.
"Unless Arenas start offering money for placements there is no reason for #FreeZenon to be banned from them until he turns 13," the player wrote on his Twitter post.
Unless Arenas start offering money for placements there is no reason for #FreeZenon to be banned from them until he turns 13. That being said the age requirement to compete in Fortnite is 13 and he is 9. He shouldn’t be banned from any other aspect of Fortnite 100% @FortniteGame — Ninja (@Ninja) May 5, 2020
"That being said the age requirement to compete in Fortnite is 13 and he is 9. He shouldn't be banned from any other aspect of Fortnite 100%."
Ninja also talked about the issue on his live stream, as well as content creator Tfue.
Another prominent Fortnite player and content creator, FaZe Banks, also took to Twitter his thoughts on the ban, asking why did Epic Games create a game "clearly targeted towards kids" if they won't allow them to play.
The general consensus of the gaming community is for the developers to consider lifting the ban or at least shortening it so the young Brazilian player can enjoy the game once again. But as of writing, Epic Games hasn't commented yet.
Questionable bans in the past
This wasn't the first time Epic Games and their popular battle royale title received massive backlash from the community.
They previously got questioned after banning professional Fortnite gamer Jarvis Kaye for life after he was caught using an aimbot on his main account when he was live-streaming his matches for his followers.
The player was not in a competitive match and was only using the cheat to show how unfair it was. Until now, Kaye is still banned from the game despite issuing a public apology for his actions.