Report: Over 200 UK divorces have cited Fortnite and other games since start of 2018

Report: Over 200 UK divorces have cited Fortnite and other games since start of 2018

More than 200 couples have filed for divorce in the UK citing playing battle royale title Fortnite since January 1st 2018.

That's according to research by website Divorce-Online, which says that five per cent of the 4,665 petitions received since the start of the year have mentioned Epic's battle royale game, as well as other online titles. 

"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," Divorce-Online editor at MD of the company's legal services Mark Keenan wrote.

“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. ”

“These numbers equate to roughly five per cent of the 4,665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year and as one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK, is a pretty good indicator.”

Fortnite has fast become one of the most played and popular video games on the market right now. Initially released in July 2017 as a survival and construction game, developer Epic launched the battle royale mode in September of the same year - propelling the project to the stratosphere.

It has been played by more than 125m people since launch.

This isn't the first time that claims of Fortnite being addictive have reared their head. The battle royale title was the subject of much media coverage earlier this year on morning TV shows on this basis.

Speaking to at GDC this year, Epic Games chief Tim Sweeney refuted this narrative, saying that the title was a "healthy and social" experience.

All of this comes shortly after the World Health Organisation added video game addiction to the 11th edition of the International Compendium of Diseases. Industry trade bodies from around the world have refuted this claim.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.