News | Legal News

19 September 2018

Fortnite now being blamed for hundreds of divorces

Fortnite; the increasingly popular online apocalyptic survival game has been the subject of more controversy this week. Hannah Yellop, solicitor in the family law team examines these claims.

Hannah Yellop

Hannah Yellop

Tel: 01753 278688

Already deemed responsible for increased violence and bullying among both adults and children, and a dance-move craze, it is now being broadcast that Fortnite has been the cause of 200 divorces since January 2018.

This story has already gone viral, being published by various tabloid and broadsheet papers as well as online blogs and articles.

An article, published by Divorce Online on 7 September 2018, was titled “Is fortnite becoming a relationship wrecker?" which appears to be what started this phenomenon. The short answer to this question is ‘No’.

This is not to say that Fortnite may not have played a role in the breakdown of some relationships, however there are likely other or multiple causes.

Relationships and marriages can breakdown for a myriad of issues and problems, some of which are objectively appreciable while others will be specific to each couple. Just as no two marriages are the same, no two divorces are identical.

The original article made it clear that since January 2018, 200 divorce petitions filed at court referenced addiction to online games (including Fortnite) as one of the reasons for their filing for a divorce. The company went on to clarify that:

“Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited as reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions.

"These now include online pornography, online gaming and social media, so it is no surprise to us that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions.”

Divorce petitions often show that while individuals can develop addictions, whether this be to sport, video games, online shopping, or drugs and alcohol (to name a few), it is often that correlation between increasing time spent on such interests contrasted with the decreasing time spent on the relationship that lead to a relationship breakdown.

It would be unfair on the creators of Fortnite to lay the responsibility of breaking up marriages squarely at their feet, it is usually far more complex than that.

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