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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prh99""We are what we repeatedly do..."10/30/2014 - 12:30pm
Andrew EisenI would, however, call someone who routinely kills time by playing random games on their phone a gamer.10/30/2014 - 12:15pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, AE, Yeah, that is why I have a hard time understanding critics of Sarkeesian. I look at her videos as a Feminist review of video games, but for some reason, others look at them as personal attacks.10/30/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightDefinitely a good answer. That is the way I lean. If you actively chose to stop gaming, or just stopped out of habit, then yeah, you are no longer a gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
Matthew WilsonAE i agree, but it is worth pointing out the fact that that is whats happening.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
quiknkoldbehavior to warrant having a Title that doesnt involve a piece of paper.10/30/2014 - 11:43am
quiknkoldwaiting in line. Thats not being a Gamer. Thats akin to me reading a Pamphlet in line and calling myself an active reader. or watching a movie trailer on a tv in walmart and calling myself an active movie goer. There has to be some form of repetitive10/30/2014 - 11:42am
quiknkoldbeing A Gamer is a Conscious decision. I am consciously engaging in this form of media and showing some form of enthusiasm. The only person I Wouldnt call a gamer is somebody who has a random game on their phone just to kill 5 minutes cause they are10/30/2014 - 11:41am
E. Zachary KnightSo how much time must pass since the last time you played a game before you are no longer a gamer?10/30/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew Eisen"Plays" is present tense so the clarification doesn't seem necessary to me.10/30/2014 - 11:18am
quiknkoldI would change that from "One who plays games" To "One who currently plays games". Like my friend as a kid playd games but then he stopped and hasnt for the last decade+ so I wouldnt call him a Gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:16am
Andrew EisenHmm, that sounds like a great idea for a series of articles! I bet they'd be well-received and not taken the complete wrong way at all!10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenThat's right, gamer simply means one who plays games. That's it. The idea that "gamer" refers to something very limited and specific, well, that's no longer applicable in this day and age of mainstream gaming.10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenMatthew - As I said last night, that is not a bad thing. Different types of reviews to serve different interests is a GOOD thing and should be encouraged! There is not, nor should there be, only one way to review a game or anything else.10/30/2014 - 11:01am
ZippyDSMleeAnyone see this? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/29/1339617/-Cartoon-Gamergate-Contagion-Spreads?detail=facebook10/30/2014 - 10:55am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Matthew, yeah, there is no "wrong" way to review a game. It all depends on who the reviewer wants reading the review.10/30/2014 - 10:48am
quiknkoldhas their own stream, you are a gamer. I think the only prerequiset is to Play Games for Enjoyment10/30/2014 - 10:21am
quiknkoldI always felt the Gamer Identity was expressing an enthusiasm for Gaming in general. There are different degrees to that. If you say "I love this game and play it, lets see what else" with Ipad game, you are a gamer. If you are a retro game collector who10/30/2014 - 10:20am
NeenekoIt is long overdue, and things will probably settle down when they accept that the industry does not cater to them and them alone and go back to posturing within their own subculture.10/30/2014 - 10:10am
NeenekoThe community has always been split, with many factions within it, and they used to not interact all that much. Now they are having to confront they are not alone and thus not the one twue gamer identity.10/30/2014 - 10:09am
 

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