A group of Canadian parents are suing US-based Epic Games over its massive Fornite franchise, claiming it makes children into gaming addicts who stop eating, sleeping, and showering.
BBC News reports a Canadian Supreme Court judge has now authorized the lawsuit, filed against Fortnite’s Epic Games by Quebec parents. They claim their gamers are “severely dependent” on the first-person-shooter game, which has a worldwide audience of more than 80 million players.
Earlier this week, the Canadian judge ruled the lawsuit was not “frivolous or manifestly ill-founded. The court concludes that there is a serious issue to be argued, supported by sufficient and specific allegations as to the existence of risks or even dangers arising from the use of Fortnite.”
The law firm that brought the action said Epic Games was akin to a tobacco manufacturer, and claimed the legal responsibility was “basically the same.”
While the lawsuit can move forward, the Canadian judge said that he didn’t believe the parents’ claims that Epic Games intentionally made Fortnite addictive.
However, the court didn’t agree with the parents’ claim that Epic Games deliberately made Fortnite addictive.
However, he added, “This does not exclude the possibility that the game is in fact addictive and that its designer and distributor are presumed to know it.”
Epic Games denied the validity of the suit in a statement obtained by BBC.
“Parents can receive playtime reports that track the amount of time their child plays each week, and require parental permission before purchases are made,” the company said.
“We plan to fight this in court. We believe the evidence will show that this case is meritless.”