A Quebec judge has given the go-ahead for a class action lawsuit aimed at Epic Games, the developer of the popular video game Fortnite, after the parents of three children who regularly played it deemed the game “addictive.”
Quebec Superior Court Justice Sylvain Lussier authorized the class action suit this week following hearing arguments from July where the aforementioned parents described the developing symptoms of dependence their kids had developed when playing Fortnite. They claim their children suffered from “psychological, physical, and financial harm,” according to CTV News Montreal.
CTV News Montreal obtained the documents and noted that one of the children, identified as JO.Z, had accumulated 7,781 hours of game time in under two years. Another child totalled 59,954 minutes or approximately 42 days of playing.
“The Court is of the opinion that the facts alleged with respect to the plaintiffs’ children make it possible to claim, if we put them in relation to the statements of certain experts with respect to the creation of an addiction to video games, and more particularly to Fortnite, that the plaintiffs have a valid product liability claim against the defendants,” Lussier said in his ruling. “The claim does not appear to be frivolous or manifestly ill-founded.”
Any Fortnite players residing in Quebec since Sept. 1, 2017, who have become addicted to the game are authorized to reclaim any potential compensation determined by the court.
The class action suit also includes a second category tackling the topic of in-game purchases. The court added that any players under 18 years old who have purchased anything from Fortnite’s in-game store could be eligible for restitution.
None of the allegations have been proven in court yet.
Epic Games has 30 days to appeal the judgement and if not, the company will have to go to court to defend itself from the allegations once the trial begins.
In a response to Complex Canada, Epic Games corporate communications director Natalie Muñoz said: “We have industry-leading Parental Controls that empower parents to supervise their child’s digital experience. Parents can receive playtime reports that track the amount of time their child plays each week, and require parental permission before purchases are made, so that they can make the decisions that are right for their family. We have also recently added a daily spending limit by default for players under the age of 13. We plan to fight this in court. This recent decision only allows the case to proceed. We believe the evidence will show that this case is meritless.”