It has been a week since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut but the country has no more answers for what caused the horrific tragedy than it did last week. In the weeks ahead you can expect the media and politicians to talk about violent media, guns, and metal health care in this country, but one analyst believes that all of this media attention won't have much of an effect on what entertainment consumers will buy (thanks to The Escapist). According to Doug Creutz, an analyst for Cowen and Company investment services, videogames ultimately have nothing much to fear from government meddling.
"We believe that any new attempts to regulate video game sales would be quickly struck down by the courts based on [the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association case]," he says, citing the Supreme Court case that protected games with First Amendment rights and ruled that there was no causal link between consuming violent media and real-world violence based on the research presented by both sides of the case at the time.
Creutz also said that game sales will not likely suffer as a result of negative media coverage or posturing by politicians. Creutz said that most people possess "entrenched opinions" when it comes to videogame violence and an editorial or political speech won't change the opinions of someone who has already made up his or her mind. Ultimately, because there are few undecided consumers it will not likely have an impact.
He also adds that – if such a hit were to occur – most companies have enough wiggle room in their share prices to take a hit.
"While these concerns are understandable – particularly given the currently emotionally charged environment – we think video game shares are now pricing in much more risk to their business models than actually exists." He also expresses optimism for 2013, given a number of high-profile titles releasing in the first half with possible console entries from Sony and Microsoft in the second.
Finally, Creutz notes that the biggest shooters of the season – Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II – have not seen a decline in sales during the holiday shopping season.