Pop culture phenomenon Fortnite is increasingly coming between married couples, with the addictive online game being cited in more than 200 divorces this year.
According to the Divorce Online website, the game has been cited in about 200 divorce proceedings in the UK filed this year, equating to about 5% of all divorces seen by the platform in the country this year.
A Divorce Online spokesperson said an addiction to digital services is increasingly leading to divorces.
“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 additions,” the spokesperson said.
“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 5% 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.”
The online video game was released last year by Epic Games and quickly hit the mainstream, transforming into one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the year.
It has now been downloaded more than 125 million times.
The most popular version of the game, Fortnite Battle Royale, involves 100 online players being dropped into an increasingly small area, with only one emerging as the winner.
Matches in the game are usually very quick, but we all probably have a friend or family member that spends far too much time playing it.
This addiction has also now proved to get in the way of married couples, and is increasingly being cited in divorce proceedings.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation listed “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition in its International Classification of Diseases.
It said it is a “genuine” and “harmful” mental health condition that contributes to physical inactivity, sleep deprivation and mood disorders, and can lead to “significant impairment” on personal, family, social and education functioning.
The game has also proved troublesome in Australia, with concerns over addiction and the in-game loot boxes. This mechanism involves a randomly generated reward given in exchange for real money.
In July, a senate inquiry was launched into this function, and was expected to hand down its report last week, but has now been delayed.