Publishers worried that proposed legislation could see major retail partners dropping violent games

Fears over new US ‘game violence’ laws

Major publisher figureheads such as EA’s John Riccitiello, Sony’s Jack Tretton, Take Two’s Strauss Zelnick and Dinsey Interactive’ Graham Hopper have expressed their concern that the potential introduction of new laws controlling the sale of video games could have a major impact on the sector’s viability in North America.

In April the US Supreme Court confirmed that it is to make a decision concerning a possible nationwide rollout for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed legislation that would illegalise the sale of violent games to minors, placing them under the same level of control as pornography, tobacco or alcohol.

Unlike in the UK where mature games are covered by the same retail law as violent movies, in the US there is no legislation controlling the sale of video games. It has always been claimed until now that any controls would be unconstitutional and contravene the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech.

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