RuneScape developer claims its online games could be 'hugely affected' by the bill

Jagex and Tiga hit out at SOPA

Cambridge-based studio Jagex and UK industry trade body Tiga are the latest companies to hit out against the controversial SOPA currently going through US congress.

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard claims the Stop Online Piracy Act would be similar to censorship for internet users and could also impact negatively on its own online games.

“Jagex is fervently opposed to the proposed “Stop Online Piracy Act” as it will essentially create a national censorship firewall for American internet users,” said Gerhard.

“Specifically this could crush the community element of online gaming and could result in a huge lack of freedom of speech, creativity and opinion sharing.

“Secondary to providing compelling games, Jagex provides a social platform for our own community which could be hugely affected, negatively impacting on community sharing, forum activity, even in-game chat.”

CEO of Tiga Richard Wilson added that the bill could expose businesses to damaging legal action, but admitted he understood the need to stop piracy.

"The worry is that this legislation would expose online games businesses to damaging legal action, while inhibiting innovation and leading to over-caution online,” said Wilson.

“Videogame companies could have to spend time and money analysing the behaviour of their users. Tiga understands the need to clamp down on rogue websites – those which blatantly make money from piracy and therefore restrict the profit margins of developers and digital publishers.

“But it believes SOPA would be a sledgehammer cracking a nut."

The bill is currently facing opposition from gaming giants such as Nintendo, Sony and EA, who recently pulled their support for the legislation, whilst the White House has also revealed it is against SOPA.

The piracy act could be close to be scrapped however, after it was claimed by Californian congressman Darrell Issa that House majority leader Eric Cantor had said there would be no vote “unless there is a consensus on the bill”.

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