Montreal-based Calex Légal has filed a legal notice against the video game company for its role in developing a highly disruptive game. The complaint was submitted on behalf of the parents of two minors, whose lives have been severely affected by their playing of Fortnite.
"Epic Games, when they created Fortnite, for years and years, hired psychologists - they really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible," said Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, a lawyer from Calex Légal.
"They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth."
The legal challenge is built upon the idea that Epic had the duty to inform players about the potential effects of playing Fortnite.
Chartrand likened the complaint to a 2015 class-action lawsuit filed against tobacco manufacturers. In that earlier case, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that tobacco companies failed to warn their customers about the potential dangers of smoking.
Chartrand said Epic was aware that its video game was made "as addictive as possible," but it did not do enough to tell gamers of its risk of addiction.
Calex Légal's class-action suit against the game developer also cites the World Health Organization's decision that recognizes gaming disorder as a legitimate disease.
Chartrand discussed when the two parents reached out to them about how playing Fortnite has impacted the lives of their children.
The parents told the lawyers that if they had only known that the game was so addictive and would ruin their child's life, then they would have never allowed them to start playing it or they would have paid closer attention to their gaming.
Chartrand did not reveal how much Calex Légal is seeking in damages on behalf of the complainants.
For its part, Epic Games has yet to comment on the legal challenge filed against it.
Other Class-Action Lawsuit Against Epic
Epic is currently facing another class-action suit, this time in relation to a recent data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of users.
The perpetrators took advantage of a security flaw in Fortnite's login system, which allowed them to impersonate legitimate gamers and made several in-game purchases using associated bank accounts.