State of California to pay ESA $950,000 in legal fees

Remember back when the great state of California, at the behest of then-Governor Schwarzenegger and State Senator Leland Yee, tried to pass that law restricting the sale of violent videogames to minors – only to have the Supreme Court rule such a law unconstitutional? Well, all that adjudicatin' don't come for free, and now the state has agreed to reimburse the Entertainment Software Association $950,000 in legal fees.

The ESA had initially lodged a request for the state to repay the full $1.1 million in legal costs, but $150,000 between friends is chump change. After all, take into account the legal costs of the two earlier rulings in California's lower court, and the state will have reimbursed the ESA a total of $1,327,000. The Association points out that similar reimbursements from other states have netted a total of $3.1 million in legal recompense.

The proceedings, which were carried out against the backdrop of a long-lamented budget crisis for the state, “wasted more than $1 million in taxpayer funds at a time when Californians could ill afford it,” says the Association's CEO, Michael D. Gallagher. He stressed, however, that his Association would continue to work with states to educate consumers in self-regulating measures such as the ESRB rating system.

The ESA also announced that a portion of the reimbursed legal fees would be put toward developing after-school projects in the poorer areas of Oakland and Sacramento. The programs, which will launch in Spring of this year, will appeal to what the ESA calls a "natural passion for playing and making video games" in the state's youth, "connect[ing] them to the development of critical 21st Century job skills."


ESA politics


  • R-ape - January 28, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    This is what we get for keeping the poker chip. Heyo.
  • Rowdie - January 27, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Not that the whole case wasn't bs, but that's not what put cali in the state it finds itself. Predator Arnold's greatest moment? It's up there but no luv for Terminator or T2... Total Recall? Seems like all of those need to be in the discussion.
  • ItBurnsWhenIWii - January 27, 2012 12:02 a.m.

    Mother fuckers this is why California is in debt. All these damn budget cuts to schools and fewer student grants and all because of lawsuit happy ass hats like the ESA taking California tax payer money.
  • SeriousSean - January 27, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    I feel your pain, but if those twats Yee and Schwarzenegger didn't try to cram this 1st Amendment raping crap down our throats it wouldn't've happened. The ESA incurred massive legal fees. This is generally what happens to the side that loses an expensive lawsuit.
  • forestfire55 - January 26, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    I don't like this California republic, if only they made a new one... a New California Republic...
  • SonicX_89 - January 26, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, Haw Haw!
  • tomthespesh - January 26, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    I'm a Brit so forgive me if I get this wrong. Is it legal for a kid to by an adult rated game in the US then? We have BBFC ratings over here of 12, 15, and 18 on games making it illegal to sell to someone under the age rating. Is that what this was about?
  • McSpermie - January 26, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    It's legal, but chains like Gamestop won't sell M rated (age 17 and up) games to kids below 17 as a policy. The governor of California tried to make it illegal and failed.
  • D0CCON - January 26, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    It's self regulation. You won't be tried in court for it, but if an employee sells an M rated game to a minor and gets caught, he will be fired. When I worked at Target, whenever an M rated game was scanned, I'd have to scan the customer's ID before I could let them buy the game.
  • tomthespesh - January 27, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    Oh right gotcha cheers for clearing that up for me. But it may just be because I'm used to it here but it seems like a good idea as I'm guessing not everywhere will self regulate.
  • MasterBhater - January 26, 2012 5:21 p.m.

    Pretty sad that the government of California spent millions of dollars in tax payer's money to fund a useless court battle IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ECONOMIC CRISIS!
  • TheCakeIsaPie - January 26, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    That's the gist of the article, yes.
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - January 26, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    They should make Jack Thompson pay it all.
  • Wade D McGinnis - January 26, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    This on top of the current state of Cali, ugh.
  • madman725 - January 26, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    Welcome to California :D
  • D0CCON - January 26, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    That's why I like it in Wisconsin. We balanced our budget! (of course, now we have massive recall campaigns on our governor and other politicians that will cost millions of dollars and screw that whole balanced budget thing up).
  • comaqi - January 27, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Arkansas is even nicer. It's the most boring state in America.
  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - January 29, 2012 3:22 a.m.

    Nope. Arkansas doesn't have corn.

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000