A Canadian court has approved a class action lawsuit against the creators of Fortnite, Epic Games.
We first reported that the Canadian law firm was preparing a class action lawsuit against Epic Games in 2019. It accused the developer of “knowingly” creating the “very, very addictive game” Fortnite, but was in the dark. limbo since as the court assessed whether or not the case could proceed.
Now, however, it appears the court agrees with the plaintiff that the claim “does not appear frivolous or manifestly ill-founded” and, according to CTV News, simply because there is “no certainty “that Epic created an ‘addictive’ game. this “does not exclude the possibility that the game is in fact addictive and that its creator and distributor are presumed to know it”.
“Epic Games, when they made Fortnite, for years and years, they hired psychologists – they really dug into the human brain and they really put in the effort to make it as addictive as possible,” said Alessandra. Esposito Chartrand, lawyer at Calex Legal. at the time. “They knowingly put a very, very addictive game on the market that was also aimed at the youth.”
Comparing the case to the 2015 class action lawsuit against tobacco companies that saw the Quebec Superior Court ruling that tobacco companies hadn’t done enough to warn their customers about the dangers of smoking, Chartrand thinks Epic knew Fortnite was “as addictive as it gets”. and failed in their duty to warn players of the risk of addiction. Therefore, the legal challenge is “very centered on the duty to inform”.
The legal notice – originally filed on behalf of the parents of two minors, aged 10 and 15 at the time, although other parents have since joined the lawsuit – also relied on the World Organization’s decision of health to list disordered games as a disease.
“In our case, the two parents who showed up and said [us]”If we knew it was so addictive it would ruin our child’s life, we would never have let him start playing Fortnite or we would have watched him much more closely,” Chartrand added.
To play the game, users must waive their right to sue the company under its terms of service and instead go through individual arbitration, but Chartrand believes the terms of service “do not hold up in the face of courts in Quebec because the province’s consumer protection law requires companies to clearly disclose the risks associated with products or services”.
“The Court is of the opinion that the facts alleged with regard to the children of the plaintiffs make it possible to claim, if they are put in relation to the remarks of certain experts as to the creation of an addiction to video games, and more particularly in Fortnite, that plaintiffs have a valid product liability claim against defendants,” the recent decision states. “The claim does not appear frivolous or manifestly ill-founded.”
“There’s something about Fortnite that’s completely unique. There aren’t any other games that have dedicated therapy centers for players of that game,” Chartrand says.
Epic has 30 days to appeal the judgment.
“We have industry-leading parental controls that allow parents to oversee their child’s digital experience,” Epic spokeswoman Natalie Munoz told PC Gamer. “Parents can receive play time reports that track how much time their child plays each week and require parental consent before purchases are made, so they can make decisions that are right for their family. We have Also recently added a default daily spending limit for players under 13.
“We plan to fight this in court. This recent ruling only allows the case to proceed. We believe the evidence will show that this case is without merit.”