Court approves parents’ class action lawsuit against ‘addictive’ Fortnite

A CANADIAN law firm is preparing a lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic Games for “knowingly” developing a “very, very addictive” game.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2019 but has been waiting for the courts to decide whether or not it’s frivolous.

Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale shooter.


Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale shooter.Photo Credit: Epic Games

However, acc CTV Newsthe lawsuit was approved with a finding that “the claim does not appear frivolous or manifestly unfounded.”

The courts also ruled that the parents “must present a justifiable case” and that it is in the public interest for the case to be heard.

Three Quebec parents founded the lawsuit after claiming the game caused “mental, physical and financial harm” to their children.

They claimed that the children spent hundreds of hours in the game, causing them to be separated from their families.

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The lawsuit alleges that one child spent nearly 7,900 hours in-game in just two years, meaning they spent almost a year playing Fortnite.

Another is said to have spent 42 days in the game. The documents say the children forgo eating, sleeping, socializing, and showering to play.

One of the documents submitted is from a doctor who diagnosed a child with “cyber addiction.”

However, Epic Games argued the report was not a formal diagnosis, nor was there “an expert report on causality.”

The judge ruled that the lawsuit applies to anyone in Quebec who has “developed an addiction or loss of control or prioritization of the game (Fortnite) that has been detrimental.”

One of the parents’ attorneys contested the idea that parents had improperly managed the time their children spend in the game.

She claims: “It’s a much, much deeper problem than people will ever really realize.

“Basically, these games are built with algorithms and dark patterns designed to get you hooked.

“And once the pattern starts, it’s very, very, very hard to get out of.”

Epic Games has not commented on the lawsuit, but recently developed accounts designed to help parents better control and monitor how their children play their games.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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