Epic Games’ Fortnite is under fire after a Montreal law firm has requested authorization to launch a class-action lawsuit against the developer with claims it did not warn its users about the possibility of addiction, according to a report from CBC.
The filing follows the basis of the 2015 Quebec Superior Court ruling, which stated that tobacco companies failed to warn their customers about the harmful effects of smoking. Similarly, Epic Games is accused of failing to disclose the possibility of addiction.
The case is being taken on behalf of two parents, both of whom have children that have played Fortnite extensively. The parents claim the game shares similarities to cocaine, saying that Fortnite releases dopamine into the minds of children.
The UK’s National Health Service found that “Gaming Addiction” can be treated on its current plan after it was declared as a medical disorder by the World Health Organization earlier in the year. This addiction was classified as a disorder after a 15-year old boy was hospitalized for eight weeks after playing video-games extensively, eventually losing confidence to go outside, according to The Telegraph.
The law firm has also claimed that Fortnite can be classed as addictive. Epic Games hired psychologists to make it as addictive as possible, according to Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, an attorney with Calex Légal.
This case suggests that Epic hasn't disclosed the effects of the video game in the terms and conditions. It's the company's responsibility to inform its customers of these dangers, according to Chartrand.
Update Oct. 8 12:47pm CT: Epic told Dot Esports that it doesn't comment on ongoing litigation and the parental controls are outlined on its website.