Fortnite Battle Royale is undoubtedly one of the most popular video games in the world and PUBG still retains a large, loyal following of players.
According to a report from Reuters, Lawmakers who were elected in Iraq’s first elections in 2018 after years of violence, passed a resolution that blocks online access to the game as well as banning related financial transactions, like buying V-Bucks.
According to Reuters, Fortnite BR and PUBG were banned “due to the negative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society, including societal and moral threats to children and youth.”
By banning access to the games and their microtransactions, it looks like playing Fortnite Battle Royale and PUBG could soon be illegal in Iraq.
Soon after news of the new ban was announced the Iraqi Parliament, whose only other piece of passed legislation was Iraq’s federal budget law in January, were heavily criticized for seemingly misplaced priorities.
Influential Iraqi Shi’ite Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political coalition holds the majority of seats in Parliament, called on the nation’s youths to reject violent video games on Thursday, April 18.
“What will you gain if you killed one or two people in PUBG?” He wrote in a two-page statement. “It is not a game for intelligence or a military game that provides you with the correct way to fight.”
PUBG is already banned in India, Nepal and China, even though Chinese company Tencent is an investor in both PUBG and Fortnite.
As mentioned earlier, Iraqi Fortnite fans have been in uproar over the decision on social media, with some doubting the government’s ability to follow through with the ban.
Other countries, like China, have a history of banning "violent" video games, but it might be too soon to tell if this is the start of a larger trend.