ESA Boss Answers 10 Questions... GP Has One More

November 26, 2008 -

GameDaily is running a feature in which ESA boss Michael Gallagher answers 10 questions from readers.

Although it sounds juicy, there are no real fireworks in either the questions and answers. Here's a sample:

9. What areas of the ESA do you feel need improvement in terms of serving the needs of the U.S. game industry, and what are you doing to address these?

Fixing the E3 Expo is a critical step forward. We need an industry event that captures the energy, creativity, and growth on our entertainment medium. I look forward to the lift ESA will get from the much improved show next June. In addition, it is critical for our industry to elevate its participation in the political process – through the ESA PAC as well as through the hundreds of candidates ESA supported on the state level. We need to boost those resources and improve targeting going forward.

On the grass roots level, we need to continue to grow, excite, and unleash the Video Game Voters Network in the policy arena... The video game industry is dynamic and fast-growing – and ESA must continue to foster and represent those qualities on behalf of the industry, its innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, and consumers.

Gallagher also talks about his view of what the Obama administration will mean for games. Interesting, but he has already tackled this subject in some detail.

GP: I would have liked to have asked if Gallagher really imagines that the VGVN can legitimately represent game buyers when game sellers are paying the freight? Isn't that a bit like asking General Motors to represent drivers?

Sure, the interests of gamers and publishers converge on issues like censorship. But those interests diverge wildly when it comes to a number of issues which affect consumers such as DRM, the DMCA and used game trades.

And, yes, I recognize that I've got an inherent conflict of interest on this topic due to the ECA's ownership of GamePolitics. It's really the main reason I haven't been more vocal on this issue. But given the many controversies over anti-consumer measures like SecuROM, I'm frankly surprised that other outlets in the gaming press don't weigh in.

13 comments

L.A. Mayor High-Fives New E3 Deal

October 27, 2008 -

Los Angeles Mayor Mayor Antonio Villaraigos has given props to the video game industry over the new, three-year E3 deal that was announced last week.

Villaraigos is quoted in a press release issued by the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau:

There is much to be said about a convention of this magnitude returning to the entertainment capital of the world. The video game industry is one of the few industries in the nation that continues to show signs of growth, and ESA’s three-year commitment to Los Angeles is a testament to our City’s formidable hospitality and technology sectors.

According to the LACVB, E3 2009 will account for better than 33,000 hotel room nights and will add $18 million to the city's economy.

2 comments

GameCo CEOs Who Trashed E3 2008 Now Singing a Different Tune

October 23, 2008 -

We couldn't help noticing that yesterday's E3 2009 press release the ESA included quotes from two of the most prominent video game industry critics of the 2008 expo.

Both John Riccitiello of Electronic Arts and Laurent Detoc of Ubisoft USA run ESA member companies, so their harsh criticisms of this year's show certainly stung the ESA. It is significant that they are on board with the new format.

Then and now, here's what Riccitiello and Detoc had to say about E3:

Riccitiello:

(July, 2008) I hate E3 like this. Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we'll have to have our own private events.


(yesterday) The E3 Expo will be the pre-eminent North American gaming show next year. The new, larger event is better for industry leaders and for serious gamers.

Detoc:

(July, 2008) E3 this year is terrible. The world used to come to E3. Now it's like a pipe-fitters show in the basement.

 

(yesterday) The video game business will be twice as big in 2009 as it was in 2006 when we had the last real E3 Expo - so get ready for some fireworks! The changes made will ensure that the 2009 E3 Expo conveys the best of what makes us proud as entertainment leaders.

11 comments

E3 2009: Bigger, Not Public

October 23, 2008 -

Reports this week which claimed that E3 2009 would be at least partially open to the public were just wrong, it would now appear.

Yesterday game publishers trade group the ESA, which owns E3, issued a press release detailing the new format. And you're probably not invited. Here's what we know:

  • Dates: June 2-4, 2009
  • Location: L.A. Convention Center
  • Invited: "all qualified computer and video game industry audiences, including international and U.S.-based

When we asked ESA P.R. guy Dan Hewitt to clarify whether the public would be eligible to attend, he told us:

There will be opportunities to view the E3 Expo and learn about what's going on at the show, but it won't be open to the general public.

The show will be capped at 40,000 attendees, well up from the ghost town feel of this year's 5,000 attendee flop, but just a bit more than half of E3's peak years of 2004-2006.

ESA boss Michael Gallagher was interviewed on the new E3 format by Destructoid. Among his comments:

We have a much, much broader audience than the targeted show that we ran the last two years, which was very focused on press-only and really U.S. press. This is meant to target international press, mass media, as well as just gamer press. It's meant to look at retailers in particular.

 

We moved it earlier in the year to make it more relevant to the retail environment. We're looking [for] developers, business partners, hardware and accessory manufacturers. It's a much broader audience, which is much more traditional, or shares more in common with the older versions of E3.


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Newseek: E3 2009 Format a Result of "Politically Difficult" Negotiations

October 21, 2008 -

Newsweek's N'Gai Croal reports that the new, publicly accessible E3 was born of "long, bruising and politically difficult negotiations."

Although Croal does not specify which entities were hashing out the E3 2009 formula, such talks would presumably include the ESA, which owns the show, the ESA board of directors, ESA member companies and, possibly, representatives from the city of Los Angeles.

The new E3 will run June 2-6 at the L.A. Convention Center. Croal's Level Up blog includes comments from his unnamed source on the deal:

It was a long journey to get there, politically. After vehemently opposing a bigger show three years ago--to now go back to the board, admit a mistake, and advocate for a bigger show. It reflects well on the [ESA] and the [ESA] board to recognize they made a mistake and, regardless of how it would look publicly, go ahead and fix it.

 

The [big] three [console manufacturers'] positions are opposed, indifferent and mildly supportive--not going to say which is which—to adding a consumer show on the back of the media and business summit.

GP: Croal's source credited EA with leading the push to a new format. Indeed, EA CEO John Riccitiello was on record as among those who hated the awful 2008 show.

If we were guessing as to the Newseek source's comments on the big three, we'd say that Sony was opposed (strapped for cash), Nintendo was indifferent (making big money either way) and Microsoft mildly supportive.

8 comments

Report: Details on E3 2009 Revealed Tonight

October 20, 2008 -

E3 2008 was a disaster. But what will the 2009 version look like - provided there is one?

According to Destructoid, all will be revealed tonight on G4's X-Play, hosted by Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb.

GP: Since there is hoopla involved, the ESA must be holding E3 next year - and it must be a very different animal (because if it was the same, everyone at ESA would be fired). Here are the possibilities as we see them:

  • open to the public
  • open to the public & combined with that other L.A.-based flop, E for All
  • back to the pre-2007 extraganza, but open to industry and media only
  • an entirely new show with an entirely new name... in an entirely new city?

UPDATE: I'm hearing unconfirmed reports that the ESA - which owns and operates E3 - is not on board with whatever E3 news G4 has planned for tonight.

UPDATE 2: G4 reports that E3 2009 will remain in L.A., but offer public admission - for a fee. Expect the ESA to drop the official announcement on Tuesday morning.

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E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
 

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