Canadian mother sues creators of Fortnite for its "addictive design"

Mar 21 2023, 4:00 pm

A mother from Vancouver who says her young son developed “an adverse dependence” on Fortnite has filed a class-action lawsuit against the video game’s creators.

The woman, who is identified as A.B. in the lawsuit filed last week, says Epic Games “deliberately designed Fortnite to be as addictive as possible.”

She explains that in 2018, her son, who was nine years old at the time, downloaded Fortnite Battle Royale onto his PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, phone, and computer.

After downloading the game, she claims her son’s mental and physical health, well-being, and relationships were negatively impacted.

A.B. also argues that Epic Games is aware of its “addictive design,” which could especially harm children playing Fortnite.

“If Epic Games had warned A.B. that playing Fortnite could lead to psychological harm and financial expense, A.B. would not have allowed C.D. [A.B.’s son] to download Fortnite,” the lawsuit reads.

A.B. adds that her son charged her credit card without her knowing and spent thousands of dollars on in-game purchases.

A.B. also argues that Epic Games is collecting extensive data from children playing Fortnite, “without obtaining their parents’ verifiable consent.”

The plaintiff is bringing the class-action lawsuit forward on behalf of herself, her son, and Canadians (except Quebec residents) affected by the video game.

A.B. is seeking damages for several claims including the breach of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, “unjust enrichment,” and its failure to warn users of risks and medical expenses related to addiction treatment for Fortnite.

The class-action suit still requires court approval and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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