Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Credit: Activision)LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shares of video game makers and sellers fell Thursday in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, which has renewed debate about violent games and their potential influence on crime.
Shares of GameStop Corp., whose stores sell video games as well as systems like the Xbox and Wii, fell 5 percent in afternoon trading.
Investors are seen as being increasingly concerned that the government may impose tougher rules on the sales of games rated for "mature" and older audiences.
Investors may be worried that parents will also avoid buying first-person shooter games like "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" after the tragedy Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary, in which 20 children and six adults were shot and killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
"Maybe there will be more stringent efforts to make sure youth are not playing games that they're not old enough to play," said Mike Hickey, an analyst with National Alliance Securities. "Maybe there will be a greater effort by parents in managing the content their kids are playing."
Shares of companies involved in the video game industry, many of which had been dropping since the shooting, declined further Thursday.
— GameStop stock lost $1.37, or 5 percent, to $26.18. Shares have barely changed since last Thursday's close, the day before the shooting, to Wednesday's close.
— Shares of Activision Blizzard Inc., the publisher of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," fell 9 cents to $10.70. The stock had already dropped 5.6 percent.
— Electronic Arts Inc. shares fell 41 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $13.99. Shares had dropped 5.6 percent.
— Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. shares slipped 29 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $11.69. The stock had dropped 8 percent.
The declines came as broader markets rose. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.3 percent at 13,295.