Variety's Ben Fritz serves up some new info on Activision's recent departure from the ESA, although his interview with CEO Bobby Kotick raises as many questions as it answers.
While Kotick's comments to Fritz seem to indicate that Activision's departure from ESA is only temporary, actions always speak louder than words and the monolithic game publisher is apparently hiring its own exec to handle government relations. That would include things like lobbying and First Amendment issues.
Here's what Kotick told Fritz:
I said don't view [pulling out of ESA] as anything but time off... With the combined companies [from the merger with Vivendi], the [ESA membership] dues went up enough that I said for it to make sense [to spend that money], we have to make a strategic plan. We don't have that because nobody owns it for us right now.
We have our own issues that are not the industry's issues. Our challenges are sufficiently different from other publishers' issues that we need our own point person. We'll have someone soon.
The Activision-specific issues reference by Kotick include Blizzard's enormous WoW subscriptions as well as substantial dealings in China. So, will Activision ever return to the ESA fold? Kotick said:
We'll consider it.