Video game group spent $1.1M lobbying in 2Q

The Entertainment Software Association, a trade group for video game companies, spent $1.1 million during the second quarter to lobby on the regulation of video game content, First Amendment protection, parental control technology and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report.

July 29, 2010

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —This is down 5 percent from the $1.2 million spent in the same quarter a year earlier and in the first quarter of this year.

The group, whose members include Microsoft Corp., Disney Interactive Studios Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Nintendo of America, among others, also lobbied on piracy, industry ratings and immigration.

The ESA opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including the creation of government-sanctioned ratings systems. The video game industry has its own ratings system run by the nonprofit Entertainment Software Rating Board, which was established in 1994 by the ESA.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a California case that pits free speech rights against a state law, which never took effect, banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. If the law is upheld, it could have chilling effects on the game industry.

In the April-June period, the ESA also lobbied on copyright enforcement, green cards for skilled foreign workers and the H1-B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized and advanced-degree positions.

The ESA lobbied Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other agencies, according to the report filed July 20 with the House clerk’s office.