A class-action lawsuit over Fortnite addiction is going to be filed in Canada, alleging that the game has addictive properties comparable to cocaine and that Epic Games failed to properly warn parents about its addictive properties.
"We dug into it and we realized there was a strong case for it," said said Calex Légal attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand as reported by the CBC.
The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the parents of a 10-year-old and 15-year-old minor. Their complaint alleges that the game's success is due in part to hiring psychologists to make it as addictive of an experience as possible.
"Epic Games, when they created Fortnite, for years and years, hired psychologists — they really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible," she continued. "They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth."
The attorneys who are filing the complaint are seeking to make it a class-action lawsuit. While the game's terms of service disallow this kind of legal action, Canadian law supercedes EULAs in this matter.
Fortnote Addiction and Big Tobacco: A Similar Approach
The Fortnite addiction lawsuit is based in part on a 2016 cases where a Quebec court found that tobacco companies did not properly warn theri customers of their product's addictive properties. Their legal claim is being bolstered by the existence of centers in Canada and around the world that claim to cure kids of their Fortnite addiction. It is also bolstered by the World Health Organization's addition of Gaming Disorder to their list of diseases is the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases earlier this year.
"In our case, the two parents that came forward and told, 'If we knew it was so addictive it would ruin our child's life, we would never have let them start playing Fortnite or we would have monitored it a lot more closely,'" Ms. Eposito said.
A judge will decide whether or not the case can go forward in the coming days.
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