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Indonesia Minister calls for Fortnite ban over user-generated content

Player-made map reportedly allows gamers to destroy the Kaaba, a holy Islamic site, but Epic refutes the claims

An Indonesian Minister has called for Fortnite to be banned in the country, due to a piece of user-generated content in the game.

Sandiaga Uno, the Minister for Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy, announced plans to pursue the ban following the discovery of a user-created map that allegedly allows players to destroy a building that resembles the Kaaba, a sacred site for Muslims.

But Epic Games has since issued a statement clarifying that Fortnite does not allow players to destroy the in-game structure.

The Kaaba is located at the centre of the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Saudia Arabia, and is considered the most sacred site in Islam.

As reported by CNN Indonesia, Sandiaga said he'd heard that the structure can be destroyed in Fortnite in order to gain weapons and progress through a level.

"The game Fortnite is directly against lofty values, especially religious ones," Sandiaga said in a statement. "This can trigger disrespectful behavior between religious communities and encourage acts of violence.

"Therefore, I instruct the team to review and immediately issue a ban. We also want to warn some game developers to be careful."

Epic's statement was posted via Facebook to address concerns over this and any similar user-generated content.

"We would like to emphasise that our team respects all religions and we work closely with the in-game content makers of our players in order to provide a safe gaming experience for all of our players," the statement read.

While Fortnite has a main map, the game's creative mode allows players to make custom maps and game modes in a sandbox environment, using in-game assets. Maps can then be shared publicly with the Fortnite community.

According to CNN Indonesia, the country's Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate has acknowledged that the content was created by a player and not Epic itself, and plans to work with National Police to track down the creator of the offending content.

At the time of writing, Sandiaga has not yet reviewed his stance to ban Fortnite following Epic's clarification.

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Danielle Partis

News Editor

Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2021. She previously served as editor at PocketGamer.biz, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.