Eidos, the UK company that created Lara Croft and the Final Fantasy computer game series warned on Wednesday that it was facing a £3.4bn lawsuit from the parents of the teenagers killed in the Columbine massacre of 1999.
The class action lawsuit was filed in April at the Colorado US District Court. It claims that 25 companies, including Eidos, AOL Time Warner, Nintendo of America, and Sony Computer Entertainment are partly to blame for the deaths of 12 students and a teacher because of the way they have marketed violent computer games.
Two students at Columbine High School carried out the shooting, before then killing themselves. The parents of those who died believe that the two killers were influenced by playing violent computer games such as Doom, published by ID Software, and Final Fantasy VII. According to reports, the pair had made a home movie in which they explain that their actions were prompted by Doom -- in which the player must shoot and kill monsters by using a variety of guns and other weapons.
Other companies named in the lawsuit include Atari, Sega of America, Virgin Interactive Media, Activision, Polygram Film Entertainment Distribution, New Line Cinema, and GT Interactive Software.
A similar court case, brought by the families of those killed in a shooting in Kentucky, failed last year.
Eidos has told investors that it is impossible to predict the outcome of the Columbine lawsuit. Shareholders have already seen told that the company's losses will double this year -- and are being asked to take part in a share rights issue that would yield £52m for Eidos.
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