The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the interests of US game publishers, issued a press release today announcing that it had received a check for $282,794 from the state of California.
The money represents legal fees incurred by the video game industry while contesting California's 2005 video game law. The statute was declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court Judge in August, 2007.
Commenting on the payment, ESA CEO Michael Gallagher said:
California deserves more from its legislators than pursuing flawed legislation. State employees are facing pay cuts. California’s services are being scaled back. And, anxiety is rising in Sacramento to find funds. Rather than tackling real problems affecting Californians, they chose to waste time, money and state resources. It is shameful that legislators pursued personal agendas in spite of the facts.
Caregivers are not well-served by court battles and legal fees. Rather, they would have been far better off if state officials worked together with our industry to raise awareness about video game ratings and the parental controls available on all new game consoles—both of which help ensure that the games children play are parent-approved.
It is unfortunate that the state is stubbornly pursuing an appeal that is likely to lead to even more court-awarded fees.