Back in April 2008, when Grand Theft Auto IV was the next big thing, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) took some flack for posting GTAIV banners on its vehicles and at stations. So after much controversy over nothing (FOX news wall over this) and pressure from the mayor, the CTA removed the advertisements before their contract was even up.
Well, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was not too happy and promptly followed up with a lawsuit, taking their case to the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
In the case filed back in July of this year, the ESA challenged the CTA's decision to prohibit certain video game ads, stating it was a violation of free speech. Things are looking good for the plaintiff, as Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer concured, stating, "[T]he advertisements the CTA wishes to ban promote expression that has constitutional value and implicates core First Amendment concerns.”
The ESA also pointed out that the CTA's decisions are actually unecessary, as the industry's marketing is already regulated by the ESRB, so even ads for "Mature" games are safe for public viewing.
It's a definite win for the ESA, who claims this victory isn't just about them. According to CEO Michael Gallagher, the ruling is "a win for Chicago's citizens, the video game industry, and, above all, the First Amendment."
"It is our hope that the CTA sees the futility of pursuing this case further," said Gallagher. "To do so will waste taxpayer money and government resources. Chicago deserves better and we look forward to bringing this matter to an end."