- Parents claim their children have shown symptoms of Fortnite addiction.
- The Supreme Court of Canada authorized the class action on Wednesday.
- “We plan to fight this in court. We believe the evidence will show that this case is without merit,” Epic Games said in a statement.
A Supreme Court of Canada judge has authorized a lawsuit against the maker of Fortnite brought by Quebec parents who say their children have become addicted to the video game.
In July, three parents told judge Sylvain Lussier that their children appeared to be severely addicted to Fortnite and had stopped eating, sleeping and showering as a result, reports BBC News.
Wednesday’s decision by Lussier determined that the class action lawsuit was not “frivolous or manifestly ill-founded,” according to Global News.
“The court concludes that there is a serious question to be argued, supported by sufficient and specific allegations as to the existence of risks or even dangers arising from the use of Fortnite,” Lussier judged.
A lawyer for the company that filed the lawsuit likened the game’s maker, Epic Games, to a tobacco manufacturer in an interview, and said the legal liability was “basically the same.”
“Our motion was heavily inspired by the tobacco motion only in terms of what we allege,” attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand said, according to the Global News report.
Lussier echoed the comparison of video game and tobacco addictions. “The harmful effect of tobacco was not recognized or admitted overnight,” he said.
However, the court disagreed with the parents’ claim that Epic Games deliberately made Fortnite addictive.
“The court finds that there is no evidence for these allegations of the deliberate creation of an addictive game,” the judge wrote. “This does not exclude the possibility that the game is in fact addictive and that its designer and distributor are presumed to know about it.”
Epic Games denied the validity of the lawsuit in a statement obtained by the BBC.
“Parents can receive play time reports that track how much time their child plays each week and require parental permission before purchases are made,” the company said.
“We plan to fight this in court. We believe the evidence will show that this case is without merit.”
On average, Fortnite attracts over 80 million monthly active players, according to techacake.com. As part of the class action, other Fortnite players in Quebec who believe they have experienced symptoms of addiction to the game.