Online Billing Solution Provider Files Brief Backing Game Industry

In what may initially seem like a stretch, Vindicia, a “leading provider of on-demand strategic billing solutions,” has filed an amicus brief in support of the videogame side in Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

The brief (PDF) makes a bit more sense when put in the context that Vindicia has clients such as Activision Blizzard and Atari. The company stated that the law at the center of the case “substantially impacts Vindicia, its customers, and the consumers they serve… by creating uncertainty regarding the legal status of video game expression.”

Furthermore, the “the Act’s age verification mandate jeopardizes significant modes of online commerce.”

Among Vindicia’s arguments:

… 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. The Act does not account for the unique features of each platform, namely how sales of, access to, and use of video games on each of these platforms differs, nor does the Act evaluate how its application will disparately impact each medium.

Requiring a driver’s license or other government-issued identification to verify age might be “relatively straightforward for in-person game purchases,” states Vindicia’s brief, but “it is logistically impossible with online transactions, and the law is silent as to acceptable alternatives.”

Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman on what would happen should SCOTUS side with the state of California:

The result would be to deprive millions of adult online gaming customers who have a right to spend their entertainment dollars as they see fit, while chilling the vibrant, innovative online gaming industry that serves them.

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