Earlier this month we mentioned the amicus brief filed by online billing solution provider Vindicia, which backed the videogame industry in the looming Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court showdown.
Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman, Jr. has since penned an article for Xconomy on the case and how a ruling for California could kill the freemium model (a la Electronic Arts' Battlefield Heroes or id Software's Quake Live) of distributing videogames to the masses:
…the freemium model requires unfettered initial access to the game by millions. The only sure way to prevent minors from accessing forbidden games online is to require a credit card validation up front. But that’s also a big deterrent for many adults: virtually no one who uses the Internet believes that giving a card number to a game maker would not eventually result in a charge to that card.
Destroying the frictionless access that adults have to free-to-play games that might be considered violent would drastically decrease innovation in the online games world, as the base of potential users would no longer be large enough to convince developers to take the risk on new games.
In its amicus brief, Vindicia expressed concern over how the California law would impact online videogame sales, noting that, “… the Act makes no mention of how this regulation would be applied to varying digital platforms and distribution, e.g., video game home consoles, smartphone applications and Internet gaming sites.”