Firm sues Fortnite for being too addictive, likens it to cocaine

by October 6, 2019 0 comments

A Canadian law firm from Montreal has sought permission to launch a class action lawsuit against Epic for making Fortnite too addictive, especially for children. 

The Montreal based firm, Calex Legal, has also likened Fortnite to cocaine, saying it releases dopamine in the brain which can cause children to become addicted to playing it. The firm has issued the lawsuit on behalf of parents of two minors aged 10 and 15. 

The case is based on a Quebec ruling which makes it mandatory for tobacco companies to inform the users the dangers of smoking much like the ruling in India. The firm say that the case is based on the developers’ duty to inform the users of the addictive properties of their product, in this case, Fortnite.  Speaking to CBC, Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, an attorney with Calex legal said, “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. They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth.” 

The lawyer also went on to say that the parents had said that Fortnite had “ruined their children’s life”. The lawsuit request also highlights WHO’s decision to classify gaming addiction as a real disease.  

In a separate interview with AFP, the legal team’s lead lawyer, Jean-Phillipe Caron said, “The addiction to the Fortnite game has real consequences for the lives of players: several don’t eat or shower, and no longer socialise”. He also said that if the case was successful, Epic could be forced to pay out tens, or even hundreds of millions in damages. 

Fortnite is one of the most successful game in video gaming history, and it has had a fair share of lawsuits against it in the past. Most of them had to do with not crediting their dance emotes to the original choreographers of the steps. Last month Epic was sued for a security breach that let hackers access the personal data of its users, which alleged that they had failed to inform the users of the breach. 

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