Fortnite has the same effect as cocaine on kids’ brains, lawsuit says


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. In that earlier case, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that tobacco companies failed to warn their customers about the potential dangers of smoking. In an announcement last week Calex Légal invited concerned parties to get in touch, stating that its clients were parents whose children were "highly dependent" on the game.

The filing comes from the parents of two minors, aged 10 and 15. A similar lawsuit involving Fortnite has been filed in California as well.

"We dug into it and we realised there was a strong case for it", said Calex Légal attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, and the lawsuit will be aimed at Epic Games and its Canadian branch.

Epic Games have reportedly not responded to any requests for comment regarding the lawsuit, while their most recent release, Fortnite Battle Royale, now has over 125 millions players around the world.

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"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", she said, arguing that the company knowingly put on the market an addictive game geared toward youth.

The World Health Organization recognized video game addiction as a health condition for the first time previous year. The case stems from parents' claims that the game ruined their children's lives.

Although Fortnite does include a waiver to stop people from being part of a class-action lawsuit, according to Calex Legal, in Quebec it would be negated by the consumer protection act.

There is no information on how much the legal firm is seeking in damages.