- Montreal law firm Calex Légal is seeking court permission for class action against the makers of Fortnite, arguing that the game is deliberately addictive.
- People who believe they are addicited to the game can file an application on the Calex Légal website.
Montreal law firm Calex Légal is seeking permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against the makers of the popular video game Fortnite.
Calex Légal claims that not only is the game highly addictive with real physical, social and mental consequences but that Fortnite was designed with the help of psychologists specifically to make it more addictive.
The 38-page legal request likens the effect of the game to using cocaine by releasing dopamine to the brain of players who can then become dependent on playing.
The request was filed on behalf of the parents of two Montreal minors who are addicted to the game. Think you have a problem with Fortnite? Calex Légal is looking for others who also may be addicted.
Much of the lawsuit is based on the 2015 tobacco industry ruling that determined that big tobacco didn't warn its customers about the potential dangers of its product.
The law firm believes that Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, had the same obligation to inform customers of the risks. They allege that Epic Games poured an extensive amount of research and development into making the game highly addictive and therefore have a duty to warn potential players.
In 2018 the World Health Organization included Gaming Disorder, those severely addicted to video games, as a disease.
But Twitter isn't too impressed.
Here in Quebec, Canada, a class action lawsuit is in the works against @EpicGames and @FortniteGame because it is b… https://t.co/NN8UtYcgMJ— BoonSlevin (@BoonSlevin) 1570194388.0
Epic Games earned an estimated $2.4 billion from Fortnite alone in 2018. Fortnite Battle Royale currently has more than 125 million players worldwide.
What's interesting is that Epic Games' terms of service actually include a class-action waiver provision. So in order to even play Fortnite, users have to waive their right to sue the company.
But Calex Légal says that won't stand up in Quebec Court as companies have to clearly disclose risks with their products.
There is no word yet on when a judge will rule on the class-action request or how much compensation Calex Légal will be looking for.
Video games have been blamed for almost everything since Pong made its illustrious debut. So it will be interesting to see how this case plays out.
If you want to sign up for the class-action, go here.