Jeff Brown, EA vice president of corporate communications revealed to GamesIndustry.biz that both Activision and Vivendi’s departure from ESA was due to “lack of leadership” within the publishers.
"They’re a big company and we feel that when you’re a big company you’ve got a responsibility to consumers to work on policy issues which are very, very important to consumers. And the best way to do that is with an industry consensus. That’s the way it’s been done with the ESA in the US, and with ELSPA in the UK,” explained Brown.
Brown went on to add, “We hope that others don’t do that, but I think that the onus is on the ESA to prove that membership in it is good for the company and good for consumers. And I think we’re going to see the ESA redouble its efforts to prove that.” Brown’s statements appear to hint towards supporting theories behind Activision and Vivendi’s departure. Insiders originally believed ESA had been inactive in lobbying for the greater good of the industry.
Nearly half of dozen publishers declined to exhibit at this year’s E3, while Activision and Vivendi took it one step further by exiting the association. Both publishers cited business and financial reasons for their departure. Last week LucasArts also revealed they were not going to renew their membership with ESA. However, the publisher will continue to exhibit at E3 2008.
The glamour of E3 has been dwindling for the past couple of years, but Brown and EA remain optimistic about the upcoming show and its future. “"EA is 100 percent committed. There’s Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, THQ, Disney, a bunch of others – and I assume all the others are still locked into it," brown said.