Posted on July 10, 2008, Jonathan Why Did Activision Leave the ESA? Answer: "We're Special"
When Activision announced it was leaving the ESA — soon followed by other companies like LucasArts and id — naturally, the rumors began to fly. Many suspected the departure stemmed from some disagreements with new ESA prez Mike Gallagher or from the increased fees the association put in place. As it turns out, those kind of were the reasons, just from a different angle. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (pictured right) explains:
“With the combined companies [Blizzard and Activision], the dues went up enough that I said for it to make sense [to spend that money], we have to make a strategic plan,” he explained. “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,” he went on, citing Blizzard’s reliance on subscription revenue and the company’s substantial business in China as examples. “Our challenges are sufficiently different from other publishers’ issues that we need our own point person.”
In other words, Activision is so big now that it needs its own representatives working with government legislators. Kotick did however state that they weren’t leaving the ESA altogether so much as taking some “time off.” They may rejoin the ESA later on, but if at the rate they’ve been raking in cash these days, I wouldn’t hold your breath.