Update: According to LA Times tech reporter Sam Dean, video game companies owned by Tencent will not be affected by this executive order and that it will only block transactions related to WeChat. It is worth noting that “The White House response just said that it blocks all transactions *related to WeChat* with the app’s owners+subsidiaries.”
Original: Earlier today United States President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that would make any transactions with certain Chinese companies prohibited after 45 days. These companies include WeChat, ByteDance, and Tencent.
One that could have huge ramifications on the video game industry is the inclusion of Tencent since they own equity in several studios around the world. Some of these companies include Discord, Bluehole, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Funcom, Platinum Games, and Supercell to name a few.
Some games that could be effected include League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, PUBG, Rocket League, FIFA Online, Fortnite, Gears of War, Rainbow Six, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor.
For context, in order for a video game developer to sell games in China, a certain amount of equity of the company most be owned by an investor within China with one of the largest being Tencent.
Part of this stems from what the government deems an issue of national security regarding TikTok which is partially owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It’s been speculated that China is using the popular app to collect personal information from users around the world.