Three parents sued Epic Games for getting their children addicted to its popular video game “Fortnite,” leading their kids to stop sleeping, eating and showering.
The lawsuit brought in Quebec Superior Court alleges Epic Games intentionally developed “Fortnite” to be “highly addictive.”
One of the parents claimed their child has played over 7,700 hours in less than two years — an average of three hours every day.
Another said their son had played almost 7,000 hours and got angry when the parents put a lock on his computer in an effort to limit game time, according to the complaint.
Justice Sylvain Lussier ruled Wednesday the lawsuit “does not appear frivolous or manifestly ill-founded” in approving class-action status.
The judge compared the legal claims to early whistleblowers of cigarette addiction, saying, “The harmful effect of tobacco was not recognized or admitted overnight.”
“The court concludes that there is a serious issue to be argued, supported by sufficient and specific allegations as to the existence of risks or even dangers arising from the use of Fortnite,” the judge ruled.
US-based Epic Games launched “Fortnite” in 2017. It has more than 350 million players online. “Fortnite” is free to play but players can pay to use in-game money called “V Bucks” to buy upgrades. The game has reportedly generated more than $9 billion for Epic Games.
The Post reached out to Epic Games for comment. The game maker has previously argued that video-game addiction is not a recognized psychological disorder, according to the BBC.
However, in 2018 the World Health Organization recognized that video games are addictive, the plaintiffs noted In court filings.
The Quebec judge ruled that anybody who has developed symptoms of addiction, including impediment to family, social, educational, or professional activities as a result of playing “Fortnite” since its debut is able to join the legal action.
Over 200 people have already come forward, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer.
There is no dollar figure attached to the lawsuit. The court will determine potential compensation.
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