A 28-year-old man in Siberia has filed a lawsuit against Fallout 4 developer Bethesda claiming the game was “so addictive” that it caused him to lose his job.
According to RT News, the Krasnoyarsk-based player downloaded the game and proceeded to play the game excessively for three weeks, during which he frequently stayed home from work, and stopped speaking with friends and family. During this time, his wife asked him for a divorce, which led him to retreat into the game further. As a result of his prolonged emotional and psychological dependence, the man was eventually fired from his job. He also claims the game caused him to stop eating and sleeping.
The man believes Bethesda Game Studios and Russian localization firm SoftClub should have put a warning label on Fallout 4 to infom him it would be a potentially addictive product. For not doing so, the man has asked for 500,000 rubles (about $7,050 USD) as compensation for his emotional distress.
“If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it,” the man said in a statement. “I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays.”
This case, should it go to trial, would be the first hearing regarding video game addiction seen by a Russian court. The result could set a legal precedent in the country as to whether players could sue developers for the psychological impact of their products. Meanwhile, game developers are currently facing similar legal challenges: In the U.S., Hawaii resident Craig Smallwood has sued developer NCSoft for not placing a warning label on its MMORPG, Lineage 2. Smallwood claims that his 20,000 hours logged into the game caused extreme depression and anxiety, for which he was eventually hospitalized.