Activision Blizzard hires lobbying firm as violent game bill brews

Call of Duty and Warcraft publisher taps Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to represent its interests relating to Violent Content Research Act of 2013.

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Megapublisher Activision Blizzard, behind billion-dollar franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, has hired a lobbying firm to represent its interests on a Senate bill that seeks to order research into the links between violent video games and violent behavior.

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As reported by the Washington Post, Activision Blizzard has brought on Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to advocate for the company's interests, according to recently filed lobbying records.

The records do not show what position Activision Blizzard is taking on the bill. A representative from the publisher was not immediately available to comment.

The bill, S.134: The Violent Content Research Act of 2013, was introduced in its present form in January by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) following the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a reportedly "deranged gamer."

It has drawn bipartisan support, with cosponsors including Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dean Heller (R-NV), but has not been universally praised. The Entertainment Consumers Association launched a campaign against the bill last month.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation recommended the bill be sent to the floor of the Senate to be voted on at the end of July, though no vote has been taken yet.

In January, president Barack Obama ordered more research to be done to investigate the relationship between video games and real-world violence.

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