The maker of Fortnite might face a class-action lawsuit in Canada after parents of teenage sons asserted last week the company purposely designed the multiplayer video game to be as addictive as cocaine, based on reports.
On Thursday, The Montreal-based law firm, Calex Légal, filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court on behalf of those two parents who approached the firm individually about their 10- and 15-year-old sons, who they claim developed an extreme dependence on the game, the news channel reported.
The suit, which has yet to be accepted by the court, seeks to hold the U.S.-based video game publisher Epic Games Inc., in addition to its Canadian affiliate based in British Columbia, accountable for utilizing psychologists and statisticians “to develop the most addictive game possible.”
“The addiction to the Fortnite game has real consequences on the lives of players, many of whom have developed issues such that they don’t eat, don’t bathe and not socialize,” the lawsuit states. “Furthermore, rehabilitation centers particularly dedicated to addiction to Fortnite have opened all over the world, particularly in Quebec and Canada, to deal with people for addiction.”
Calex Légal attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand informed the News that the lawsuit stems back to an identical legal basis as a Quebec Superior Court ruling in 2015 that decided tobacco companies have been liable for disclosing the health risks of utilizing their products. The lawsuit additionally noted that the World Health Organization last year declared video game addiction, or “gaming disorder,” a disease. The game is free to make use of; however, it requires players to buy virtual currency to purchase accessories and other add-ons for their virtual players.