Six Publishers Drop Out of E3, Some Point Finger at ESA President
Well, to Vivendi and Activision you can add the following: Codemasters, NCSoft, Her Entertainment, and id Software. The new four have confirmed that they are not attending this year’s show, but they are remaining members of the ESA.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has been quoted as placing at least part of the blame at the feet of ESA President, Mike Gallagher.
“Lowenstein was a very savvy industry veteran who paid attention to the goings-on in the industry and cared what the community had to say. The new person… whose name completely escapes me because I’ve never met him or heard from him, is far less knowledgeable and sophisticated about this industry than Doug was and is going to make some rookie mistakes.
Doug used to be a very visible spokesperson in congress… when you’d get these [things like] Barack Obama saying videogames are corrupting our youth or MADD saying that Take-Two should pull GTA off the shelves, you would hear Lowenstein immediately shoot back. I would guess that Activision doesn’t perceive the same value from the ESA as they did under Doug’s leadership. I criticize [Gallagher's] lack of drive to learn about the industry.”
Thus far, the ESA and Gallagher have had no comment, but it seems to me that common sense would say that if your largest members are leaving and/or not supporting your signature event, you may have a problem on your hands.
To be fair, NCSoft has publicly stated that their decision not to attend is based soley on their game development cycles, and has nothing ot do with the ESA or its leadership. However, the rest of us are left wondering what may come from all the other companies in the coming week, especially with the news that Activision will be holding an event on the first day of E3, just not in the convention center as part of E3.
Is this the beginning of the end for E3? We’ve speculated on it for quite some time, literally every year since the format was changed. Could it finally be upon us?