The future is looking a little uncertain for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) as id Software, creators of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, has announced its departure from the organisation. This in itself wouldn’t be a huge concern were it not just the latest in a line of high profile departures, including publishers LucasArts, Vivendi and Activision.
The ESA is a trade association representing game publishers in the US. Although it works for its games industry members across the pond, its efforts to combat anti-gaming legislation, lobby for the industry’s rights and involvement in piracy protection have meant that its actions have repercussions across the world. It is also presents the annual E3 trade show.
Arguably its controversial decision to dramatically scale down the enormity of the Electronic Entertainment Expo has been the start of its current troubles. It faced a difficult obstacle in that the show was simply becoming too huge for its exhibitors to get the business it was designed for done. However, the transition to a strict invite-only affair has prevented the big companies from having a single platform from which to battle it out in terms of sheer spectacle at a traditionally quiet time of year.
Not only has the event been scaled down, but its move out of Los Angeles also cost ESA a reported $5 million, which probably didn’t please its fee-paying members either. However, none of the departing publishers have cared to disclose why they have made the decision to pull out, leaving us only to speculate on their reasons.
The demise of E3 seems like one plausible solution, but then ESA was supposed to have made the changes to help the business summit achieve its original purpose. Lack of faith in the leadership of Mike Gallagher is another theory floating around. Despite these high profile departures, ESA does still boast a wide ranging list of members – we’ll just have to see whether the problems continues to snowball.
ESA (via GamePolitics)