Gaming Steve

May 2, 2008

Vivendi, Activision-Blizzard Snub ESA, E3

The End of Times

In their first big move since they became the biggest publisher in gamerdom, Activision-Blizzard have officially left the ESA and will not be attending this year's E3.

From the ESA's senior VP of communication and research, Rich Taylor:

"While the Entertainment Software Association remains the preeminent voice for U.S. computer and video game publishers, we can confirm that Activision and Vivendi Games opted to discontinue their membership. The ESA remains dedicated to advancing our industry's objectives such as protecting intellectual property, preserving First Amendment rights, and fostering a beneficial environment for the entire industry. Our high level of service and value to members and the larger industry remains unchanged."

What does this mean for gamers? Well, for starters, none of Vivendi's developers will be "in" E3 (most will have a presence "around" E3, separated from the official show) including Activision-Blizzard, Sierra, Atlus, Majesco, NCsoft, and WBIE. Vivendi will also have to start defending themselves in cases of government interference and copyright infringement, both areas the ESA helped game companies when defending these interests.

The ESA, like many industry organizations, probably had some rules and perhaps fees that Vivendi just didn't agree with but it's unclear the reason for the departure at this time. Whatever the reason this is something which will probably have significant long term repercussions for the industry in general.

Posted by Clayton Ashley at 1:00 PM | Comments (7) | Posted to Business |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

Hopefully E3 dies and the individual shows can start up again.

Space World anyone?

Posted by PatMan33 at May 2, 2008 2:36 PM

About the diagram there, it should be 'too good for the ESA' not 'to good for the ESA'. The diagram seems to indicate that Activision and Vivendi are dedicated to enforcing good for the ESA or something.

Other than that, interesting but i don't really know what to make of it...

Posted by Neoskel at May 2, 2008 3:07 PM


Let me guess... you were THAT kid in school, weren't you?

Posted by PatMan33 at May 2, 2008 3:14 PM

Eh, I would imagine Vivendi / Activision is very busy merging two multi-billion dollar companies. I'll be understand with them for letting this one slip.

Posted by Sub at May 2, 2008 8:24 PM

"Eh, I would imagine Vivendi / Activision is very busy merging two multi-billion dollar companies. I'll be understand with them for letting this one slip."

I don't know how you came up with that theory. You don't let something like this "slip" even if you're in a merger.

ESA is not a good brand. It has taken a lot of heat by gamers and developers. ESA lately has tried to assert its will on game companies instead of protecting intellectual property and free speech rights. Not least, Activision-Blizzard thinks that ESA is in the pocket of EA. In other words ESA = EA are the same.

ESA needs to be disband and replace with something similar to the NRA. As a member of the NRA(membership is open to the public), the organization is very effective at protecting the second amendment without the help of the gun manufacture industries. While gun manufactures are member of the NRA, they are not active in the NRA nor the NRA take an active part in gun manufactures/promotion. They focus on politics, courts, firearms competitions, promoting guns rights, and voting.

Posted by jdun at May 2, 2008 10:42 PM

That diagram shows EA as consuming T2. That was rejected, right?

Posted by TTT at May 3, 2008 12:59 PM

Clayton, just to let you know, it's "too," not "to."

You might not have made that pic anyway...?

Just trying to help! :)

Posted by Intamin at May 4, 2008 9:38 PM