ECA head honcho: ESA members are unhappy, more may leave soon

ECA head honcho: ESA members are unhappy, more may leave soon - Image 1More unhappy predictions for ESA, the organization behind the annual E3 convention. Hal Halpin, head and founder of the ECA (a non-profit organization dedicated to the interests of gamers), believes that more companies are likely to leave the ESA. Sounds like E3 is headed for some tough times. More in the full article.

ECA head honcho: ESA members are unhappy, more may leave soon - Image 1It all started last month, when Activision left the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the group behind the annual E3 convention. Their departure opened the gates, and other video game publishers announced that they will be leaving as well.

E3 was already under heavy fire from the gaming community last year when the ESA decided to take the convention in a different direction, making it more into a business convention rather than following the traditional format of the previous years.

This year, ESA president Michael Gallagher is the target of numerous criticisms, including that from Penny Arcade‘s Robert Khoo who said that E3 has become a “sort of pissing contest,” and from analyst Michael Pachter who remarked that he had a “lack of drive to learn about the industry.”

Hal Halpin, head of the Entertainment Consumers Association, a group dedicated to the interests of video gamers, recently commented that more members are likely to leave E3, which doesn’t bode well for the E3 convention. Not only that, but he also remarks that:

[The other members] are unhappy but remain with the organisation. […] It’s really concerning for all of us. Anyone who cares about the games business should be concerned about what’s going on with the ESA.

Gallagher himself explains that members are simply leaving of their own accord, and that this is a natural process in every trade association: “There are hundreds of trade associations in Washington and virtually all feature member turnover and the ESA is no exception.”

Perhaps. At any rate, one publisher who recently left ESA, at least, has expressed that their departure wasn’t political. This was id Software, the publisher behind Doom and Quake. id Software’s chief executive explains: “Our departure from ESA is probably temporary and was not political. It was a question of other priorities this year that we wanted to focus on.”


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