File this under “Things You Now Know About Gaming and The Federal Government.” Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney apologized to Dr. Muhammad Zakir Khan for the unintentional block he encountered when he tried to register for the beta of Paragon, the upcoming shooter. Dr. Khan was trying to create an Epic Games account when his name popped up on a list of Specially Designated Nationals maintained by the U.S. government. Fortunately for Mom and apple pie, Dr. Khan is not actually a terrorist. Unfortunately for him, his name ran afoul of the “overly broad filter” that the registration site was using.
Your account creation has been blocked as a result of a match against the Specially Designated Nationals list maintained by the United States of America’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Why does the Epic Games registration process filter for possible terrorists on the U.S. watch list? Gamasutra notes that the company was trying to comply with federal trade restrictions that impact licensing of the Unreal Engine outside of the United States.