Has LucasArts Bailed from the ESA?

May 8, 2008 -

Last week, GamePolitics first began to suspect that Activision and Vivendi might have left the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) after noticing that the game publishing giants were no longer listed on the member section of the ESA website.

Today there is another major company missing from that list: LucasArts

We've got messages out to several LucasArts contacts in an attempt to confirm. An ESA representative promised us he would "look into that."

So, we'll call this one officially a rumor... for now.

But if true, the exit of LucasArts immediately on the heels of Activision and Vivendi could signal that the ESA, founded in 1994 to represent the interests of US video game publishers, is rapidly taking on water.


Comments

@GoodRobotUs

Just because they don't advertise the fact doesn't mean they don't know. Activision and Vivendi leaving wasn't exactly trumpeted. This could be administrative error, or LucasArts could indeed have left and no one has felt like announcing the fact.

The ESA has done jack squat to protect the gaming industry. Developers and publishers have always been left on their own to defend their games and the games' content.

If I was a developer, I'd be jumping ship as well.

I hope they have. NO BALLS!

Hmmmm Something tells me this one is Administrative error, probably just forgot to add it to the list by the looks of things, I can't see an ESA representative honestly not knowing whether a company the size of LucasArts has left.

Still, I could be wrong, but, at least for now, something tells me I'm not.

Interesting... theories?

Since the ESA has done jack shit(Take Two mostly had to defend themselves) I won't be surprised.

Founded? Instead of Funded?

Isn't LucasArts kind of owned by Activision? At least Activision is doing all the distribution work in Europe for them and acts as PR contact.

@Gray17

Agreed, it's possible that this isn't an Administrative error, which means the ESA guy was either delaying or that the ESA doesn't inform its own representatives about what is going on.

So, yes, I agree, it's still 100% in the air at the moment, it's more a hunch on my part and could very well be completely wrong, but it's just a feeling that someone genuinely forgot to add them to the list, which still isn't good, but I'll be perfectly willing to accept it if I'm wrong :)

ESA isn't like it use to be, vocal.

@Ebonheart

It used to be vocal?

@tenochtitlan

LucasArts is owned by LucasFilm. They just happen to publish through Activision fairly often.

I don't know much about the ESA, not being the US, so is this significant?

@Tenochtitlan

It's not as far as I know. George Lucas is still listed as Chairman, and it's a privately held company. Besides, I don't think Lucas would sell it - that way he still has complete control over what they make and how they do it.

What good is belonging to the ESA if it doesn't help when you're in a pinch?

I can understand why Take Two might leave.

This is just me but i don't think someone would be so stupid to remove such a major company from the ESA list by accident. If that was the case, it's major fail on that employees part and he/she should be fired big time.

@Austin Lewis

TakeTwo has publicly stated they are comfortable with the ESA recently.
I thought LucasArts was going to show that new StarWars game at E3.
I'd say if anything Lucas is talking to Activision or discussing on their move and the ESA just doesn't have an answer for this member, yet.

gotta say what do u get for being in the ESA?

a toothless organization that sits and looks the otherway humming when you need help?

Seems like several companies feel like they are getting as much value for money from the ESA as we punters thought they were.

Uh-oh.


This might not turn out so great...................

Isn't this caused from lack of defense of critics on ESA's part?

ESA: "No comment - we wouldn't want to misrepresent our members. Have you tried talking with the ESRB or ECA?"

This is why they FAIL. They need to be... oh, what's that word?

PROACTIVE.

I would have to say that the ESA has been very quite since Doug left. with most of the shenanigans that has been going on we should have at least heard something from them.

@The edge,

Why what have the visibly done for the industry except bust a few modders and pirates? For the cash they pull in I would expect more.Even if its all silent lobbying then theres not much effect observable there either.

Sounds like the ESA needs to make some major changes. FAST. Maybe becoming a little louder and being (as Monkeythumbs said) more proactive will attract companies that are leaving. Losing Activision, Vivendi and (possibly) LucasArts is a huge blow - more may leave because of this.

sorry for the server crash... we were down for about three hours... lost a few comments...

:-(

it did seem strange that there were so few comments for something this big (even being only rumor)

@GP

I was wondering why I kept getting a message from wordpress. I thought my computor was just having a connection problem. That sucks about the comments...

I hope this is not the case. If companies start to follow Activision's lead and leave the ESA, there could be serious consequences. As big (and controversial) as the gaming industry has become, it is more important than ever for the industry to have a unified voice in government. The consumer research and anti-piracy work that the ESA does has also proven invaluable over the years.

@odcu4r

I guess I didn't know that.I'm still a fairly new reader(I started reading this site in Feb.),but I guess I shouldn't say things I don't know much about.


Would you kindly tell me what Activision/Vivindi has done so far?

[...] Today, it would appear that another publisher may be joining Activision and Vivendi as a former ESA member, as GamePolitics points out that LucasArts is no longer listed as one of its members, a recent and unannounced change. The official E3 Summit web site still lists LucasArts as a participating company. We have a request in with the publisher to learn more about their ESA status and will update when we hear back. [...]

@TheEdge

Hehe don't be silly, of course you should. It's how we debate and learn. (Adcanced class internet stuff!)

When you say Activision/Vivendi and what have they done so far wrt combating piracy? I guess Vivendi is mostly about WoW these days, and the ESA's methods of fighting piracy don't really apply there.

The ESA is there to have the collective backs of the companies that pay it to, and unless all its work is very back scenes cloak and dagger stuff they just arent very publicly visible. So many anti-game figureheads out there that just spread bald faced lies about games to sell controversy, and it's you and me in the family and friends trenches who are fighting the counter war. Where are the talking head counters that should be on TV every time a known anti-game bias will be present to deny that there is no rape in any GTA title? (and never will be unless part of the story I am sure)

The major problems the biggest player jumping ship is the ESRB funding, and the vide game voters network which was (and still is ) a pretty cool idea.

[...] Today, it would appear that another publisher may be joining Activision and Vivendi as a former ESA member, as GamePolitics points out that LucasArts is no longer listed as one of its members, a recent and unannounced change. The official E3 Summit web site still lists LucasArts as a participating company. We have a request in with the publisher to learn more about their ESA status and will update when we hear back. [...]

@Zeke129

Agreed. Take two was mostly left to fend for themselves, not that they didn't do a good job.

What does the ESA actually do? It is supposed look out for the game biz but it don't seem to ever do that...

SO what exactly does it do? and if it is completely useless then it should just fall apart and be forgotten...

@ odc04r

Understanding!

I see your point.

Why is it,that when some pecker head anti-gamer goes on major national TV to spread lies about games,the ESA never does much,if anything at all?They usually(now this is just from what I've gleaned from reading at GP) let these ignorant know-nothings spit these lies,while they sit there and don't counter attack,they let the wise-cracking,yet usually powerless,bloggers to retaliate.

What's the point of even being there if your not doing you're saying you're doing(which for them,that is standing up against blowholes like Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton)?

@ Grizzam

Well more so, than now.

The ECA is ten times more visible than the ESA. Yet the ESA has how many years on the ECA as an organization? The ESA should be leading the charge against the anti-gamers. They should be using the facts like a baton held by a member of the RCMP (oh wait... That would be tasers then right? Sorry Canadians. I couldn't help myself). The bottom line is the ESA should be very visible to the common person and their mission clear. I know I've had to correct myself putting in ECA instead of ESA many times simply because the ECA is the one I see really standing up for us as gamers and the industry in general. Kudos to the ECA for that and shame on you ESA for slacking off!

If your 4th implementation of a game gets released and you see MORE laws and legislation designed to impede the sale of your product wouldn't you pull out your support of the organization designed to combat exactly this problem? Think about it.
 
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