Canadian justice will soon hear a class action lawsuit accusing Fortnite video game developer Epic Games of creating addiction among its followers in Canada.
The three parents accuse Fortnite of causing an addiction similar to that which “can cause heroin or cocaine”, citing “physical and psychological” symptoms such as “migraine”, “back pain”, as well as “important social unrest”.
One of the three minors in question would have been diagnosed with cyber addiction, and the other, aged 13 at the time, would have played 7,781 games over two years, “at least three hours a day,” according to a judgment issued on Wednesday, authorizing an appeal. “. day, sometimes until midnight.
The plaintiffs also allege that the shooter and survival game “would contribute to cost overruns.”
While it is free to download, users can purchase V-Bucks, a virtual currency, to receive in-game accessories such as outfits or dances.
One of the children named in the class action lawsuit would have spent more than 6,000 Canadian dollars (4,100 euros) and “would have gone so far as to claim to have been the victim of a scam,” Jean-Philippe told AFP. the two lawyers who filed the request.
The lawyer said he was “satisfied” and “confident” in the future given the “convincing evidence” that backs up the various cases he is defending.
The three parents and their lawyers are seeking “compensation for moral and material damages, as well as reimbursement of benefits”, in particular the reimbursement of all purchases made by underage players.
For their part, representatives from Epic Games argue that the evidence is “insufficient”, citing the lack of an “expert report”, “a medical record that diagnoses +addiction+” and studies on “unwanted video game effects”.
In the coming months, a video game developer will have to defend itself in Quebec courts for developing and selling a “dangerous and harmful” product, failing to disclose risks, and harming minors with its personalized currency system.
In April, Epic Games already reached a $26.5 million settlement in North Carolina related to the purchase of its virtual currency by minors.