ESA Boss Talks Politics, Prez Candidates, Piracy

GameDaily BIZ serves up a lengthy interview with ESA CEO Mike Gallagher (left). It’s definitely worth a read as the first-year CEO dishes on a number of topics, starting with piracy:

For video games, [piracy is] a $3 billion issue, and that’s from an industry that has $9.5 billion dollars in sales. That’s a huge amount of leakage… and it’s only going to grow as broadband speeds increase and as the hackers are more adept at circumventing [console] security preventions. It’s already just a disaster in the PC space…


How do we send the message?… we have an anti-piracy division within ESA… it works on enforcement very aggressively… we’re going after the sources of the material in Malaysia, Uruguay, and Mexico. We’re working together in Canada… North Korea… We’re also collaborating for the first time with MPAA…

Gallagher also mentioned last summer’s controversial Homeland Security raids on mod chip dealers inside the United States:

Domestically, we had a sting where we used 20 different locations, 16 different U.S. Attorney offices, which simultaneously busted a network of traffickers of pirated goods here in the United States.

GamePolitics was among those which questioned the ESA’s radio silence on Fox News’ January smear of Mass Effect. Gallagher spoke about why the ESA held back:

We have to be careful as an association that represents the entire industry, that our activities relative to specific companies and specific titles are very carefully selected. We certainly support the thrust of the industry activities and the reaction of the video gaming community to the distortion that Fox published…

Gallagher acknowledged the clout wielded by game consumers in the Mass Effect episode:

They pay attention, they are vocal, they are digital… they are heard immediately… That same power is what we want to harness when it comes to influencing policy makers. Policy makers are very gun shy about the Internet… they fear it because its mobilizing capabilities are outside their comfortable zones…

The ESA head diplomatically side-stepped GDB’s question about how the industry viewed the current field of presidential candidates:

[The candidates] love technology, they love high tech jobs, they all worry about the economy… So we’re going to focus on those and make sure that our profile as an industry is known to those campaigns… but the cultural aspect of video games, the historical [political] football nature of the industry in the presidential space means we have to be vigilant. I don’t necessarily see the risk being something we can look past with any of the candidates…

Asked about a threat by watchdog group the Parents Television Council to target candidates who accept campaign contributions from the ESA’s new political action committee, Gallaher was dismissive:

How many voices have you heard? The one. What we’ve heard in the meantime from other sources is many, many voices saying, "It’s about time [that the industry began contributing.]" And the politicians, our policy makers in this country, will be very appreciative of our industry’s support…


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  1. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    dang nabiit I didnt post this last night

    E. Zachary Knight
    “””But downloading a pirated game so that you can avoid the lines at retail is the stupidest excuse for stealing I can imagine.”””
    Why? some people can’t drive and some places have nearly 4$ a gallon for gas, hate lines and hate the generic over priced retail shops,digi distro was to save us from it but they want way to much money for data alone, so until retail digi services can do 20-30 a new game I am better off tagging a working copy see if tis worth while then buying it used.

    there is no moral high ground to downloading altho one can argue time/effort and paying 60$ a month for net as a excuse but these are not moral grounds if I was all bent out of shape worrying over devs I would buy new sadly I can not 9 times out 10.
    Just because their is no high ground dose not mean there is not a low one the low one is constantly avoiding to pt money into the system(be it to game retail,pubs or used market) or selling copies without the rights to do so.

    Downloading comes down to 3 things
    Effort(be it boycotting,proving a self delusional point or trying before buying)

    Digi distro would still rake in a profit if it halved its prices but with thos prices being that of retail there no point unless you like communal spying(steam) or D2D which at least doesn’t spy on you and its easier to sell of old games….

    there is alot the industry can do to “improve” itself nannying gray zones is not one of them.

  2. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:


    “Sprit of fair use” protects the consumer from blatant corporate greed and abuse at least so IMO, at the same time it should not protect blatant IP/CP infringement (for profit operations and meaning they can go after all the nonprofit registered donation trackers and web sites ,ads count as profit I suppose a new ad system could be put in place to let sites share abandoned media in the light of day and a percentage of it and donations handled by the ad sever 10% could go to the media industry).

    This is how I would like things to work after something falls out of publication(games/books/film/music) or 5 years from when it was publicized (as long as it’s out of publication by then ) it falls into the fair trade spectrum, fair trade means in a non profit setting we can trade media freely.

    Now in order to protect both business and consumer we create a recode/revision rule let’s say Bionic command for the NES is out of publication but is on the VC stores the old code falls to fair use the newer port is fully protected as long as they publish it, if they clean up the code but it visually the same its still protected, now let’s say they make a enhanced version with new graphics and acouple new gameplay mechanics the “classic” version is only protected as long as they still publish it.

    For film and music you can go by bit rate and quality and added content to it, let’s say star wars the original VHS release falls under fair trade a cleaned and repacked version dose not as long as the publish it, because a old item was published it falls under fair trade keeping it out of fair trade means publisher has to keep that IP/CP current or lose the consumer side protections given to them by owning the IP/CP.

    Now as you know publishers are going to keep up to date what they think can sell and older stuff falls out of favor with the industries main consumers thus no harm is done here because of the ratios of buyers and the own willingness of the industry to keep current on things.

    By forcing 100+ year draconian systems you will do far more damage to the industries you seek to protect.

    I think both sides that are not for absoluteness are willing to give alil to find whats best for both.

    I started a thread in the forum

    Come in and dish on how you would like things to balance out.

    mini rant
    Also I would be willing to spend 10% more on a game if I am given my right of retuning it for a refund back… you could return media for most of the 90s then one day it ended probably alil after the RIAA failed to stop the sale of used CDs…. I would not be opposed to a recording media/hardware tax the RIAA gets a piece why not all meida?

  3. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    E. Zachary Knight
    hard to comprehend when brain is a wet limp noodle *drools and naws on it*

    A better middle ground needs to be found the black booted march on the gray area will only make me chose the dark side over legeitment outlets.

    the VC is a joke when they want top 10+ for a 10 year old game I am sorry without the options emulation gives you its nothing but a gimmick to hook newbies on pay for emulation, also again the content creators don;t get much if anythign from it the PUBLISHER/ rights holder dose!

  4. 0
    konrad_arflane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I know what poaching is. My point is that a lot of the time, when people hunted on the king’s land, they didn’t do so to “stick it to the Man”, they did so because they were hungry, or starving even. I don’t think having to pay people to enjoy the entertainment they created compares to not getting enough to eat.


    I’m not completely certain try-before-you-buy is covered by fair use (even if perhaps it should be). You’re not, AFAIK, entitled to see trailers for a movie before you buy a ticket (yes, movie trailers are everywhere, but they don’t have to be), much less walk out of the movie theatre 15 minutes into the movie and demand your money back.

    And as for pricing: Yes, games are too expensive. However, in a free society, it is the right of the owner of some property or other to set the price he wants for it. In a face-to-face situation, a prospective buyer can then haggle. But in a mass market, if you want to buy, you pay the price. If you think it’s too expensive, you don’t buy. It’s as simple as that.

    This is particularly relevant for games, IMO. If you don’t want to pay full price for a game, you can wait six months, and you will most likely be able to get it for around half-price. This is the principled approach to overpricing. It is also, just possibly, a more effective approach than pirating.

    Products like games, where the physical production cost of the individual unit are minuscule compared to the development costs, cost what they cost because that’s what people are willing to pay. It is certainly possible that the collective managements of all the major publishers are stupid enough not to realize that they’d make more money (due to increased sales) if they lowered prices, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If they know nothing else, these guys know money. IOW, if people consistently waited for games to drop in price before shelling out, the publishers would more than likely get the hint. Unlike piracy, they wouldn’t really have any other course of option than following the market, unless they like having their games collecting dust on store shelves.

  5. 0
    Blase says:

    ESA is slowly turning into another BSA, overinflating piracy figures and backing down from important issues.

    The Mass Effect silence was inexcusable. AAA title from a major publisher thrashed on national TV.. If that is not a job for ESA then what is?

  6. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Because a game has to do more than flicker and have pretty colours to entertain me, I always try demos of games where I can but sometimes I have pirated games to see what they were like and frankly I’ve saved so much cash doing so, not because I got a game for free but because I played something for 10 minutes and thought “Shit, I was really thinking of BUYING this crap??” and deleted it immediately. Devil May Cry 4, Ninety Nine Nights & COD4 spring instantly to mind, not that I was expecting anything good from them but I was curious about them.

    Similar situations exist to playing games at a friends place, a mate had COD4 and I was VERY glad I went to his place before I went downtown to buy a new game because that piece of crap would probably have been near the top of the list and I’d have been a very pissed off consumer 3 hours later when I’d finished it…

    I firmly support abandonware and think that the idea I could be in trouble for downloading the C64 rom of Action Biker or Wizball is unfathomably stupid, not only because I owned them (but since they were cassettes from the 80s, I sure can’t prove that) but because who the hell makes money from them now?

    I definitely agree with Wag that the copy protecting has gotten stupid, anything that inconveiences more legitimate customers than pirates is just money down the drain.

  7. 0
    Wag says:


    *Brings out soapbox*

    Piracy is absolutely sickening. It really is genuinely hurting PC gaming. That being said, I can admit to downloading software that was either old and hard to find or I was unsure if the title warranted the hefty $50 price tag.

    It’s tricky to really draw the line somewhere. I feel very strongly that copy protection on modern software is done completely wrong and the fact that I can’t run games from ISO’s that I’ve made myself makes me absolutely sick. I guess on a console you have to swap disks regularly, but for us PC folks, the ability is there to NOT have to do that. Honestly, who actually WANTS to swap disks when you’re at a LAN. For that matter, who even wants to risk brining their legitimate software disks (and quite possibly CD keys) to a LAN?

    Personally I think that the CD key is a beautiful way to protect your software. Take it a step further like what happens with online authentication and all of a sudden you have a VERY difficult product to pirate. Now when you go to the nth degree with this like what steam has done, and all of a sudden you have a piece of junk software that is slowing down your system, running in the background, and ultimately trying to sell you things in a very invasive way. Now, steam does a lot of things right… but it sure as HELL does a lot of things wrong too.

    The truth is there is no easy answer to the problem. It is a complex issue, and it will require a complex solution. The PC gaming market is in just as much trouble as the recording industry if they don’t make some sort of compromise. Getting the industry to compromise on the other hand… well… that might take some doing.

    I’ve never really understood why these companies don’t listen to their consumers a little closer. Just look at the copyright protection issues that Bioshock ran into. There is reason enough in the technical issues surround the game because of that to warrant a boycott of the game in the first place. Personally I refuse to buy any game that has such heavy protection on it that it endangers the “fun factor”. This most definitely includes any game that is protected by the spyware program Star-Force.

    They want a problem solved? Here is an idea. How about dropping all the money you’re spending on copy protection and simply add an authentication system for when you start the game? Limiting the numbers of instances the CD key can be running to 1 at any given time. Sweeten the deal? How about forgiving having more instances of that CD key running at a given time with the qualifier that they all authenticate from the same IP address. Get that in place, and take the hundred and fifty thousand plus dollars you just saved and sell the game for less money in the first place. Oh, and if someone doesn’t have an internet connection, let them still install and play the game please.

    Would this solve all piracy issues? NO. Does it still have a lot of loopholes? Yes. Face the facts people. You CAN’T stop piracy. It will be there on some level. Making up statistics and numbers to get sympathy from people who don’t know any better just makes your real clients and customers very upset with you. A good compromise is going to leave both sides a little upset but right now both sides are upset anyway, so something’s gotta give.

    I think that most gamers who download games and never buy them feel some sort of moral dilemma. There are exceptions to that, but by and large the people who are downloading games are either people who can’t afford it, or people who are unsure if the game warrants a purchase in the first place. Who can blame them? For most young adults $50 – $60 is a pretty substantial amount of money. Some even say the argument can be made that some piracy even LEADS to sales because people end up liking the games well enough to buy it to play online multiplayer. It’s unlikely that that offsets piracy, but there is no doubt that it happens.

    Game companies really need to realize that getting their games into the consumer’s homes is in their best interest. If loaning a friend a game to let them see if they will like it is against the license agreement, then they need to seriously reevaluate the license agreement.

    The mod chip issue is a whole new issue and what they did with the raids was flat out wrong. The amount of people willing to slice up their hardware is so small and the homebrew community so innovative that those actions will only serve to alienate loyal (and paying!) customers.

    All I know for certain is that unless the industry shapes itself up (and soon) the problem will probably completely destroy PC gaming and then they won’t have any market left to sell anything to.

    Sort of a poetic justice I suppose.

    *puts soapbox away*

  8. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Zippy

    Way to not read my post. Try reading it. Or if you did, you did not comprehend it. To that, read it again.

    @ Kurisu

    The VC makes a nice republishing tool. So does steam or any other method of remastering a game. Square does a nice job of republishing games from the SNES and NES. So what is holding back others?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  9. 0
    Joseph says:

    I would really like somebody to nail one of these people with the question about how region coding has affected console piracy. Thinking along these lines: region coding has made modding consoles more popular as people try to buy games not available in their country. Once the console is modded and once modding has become more common place in that I can just go to the shop on the corner to get it done instead of begging the tech savy friend of a friend, its just brings common people that much closer to be tempted.

    Its the locks keep honest people honest theory.

  10. 0
    Patrick ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Best to take any numbers the ESA spits out with a grain of salt, cause they are no doubt heavily inflated and the method for calculating the loss is highly subjective. That and a pirated copy does not equate to a lost sale since they don’t know if the person would have actually paid for a given title if a free copy were not available.

  11. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    @E. Zachary Knight

    What about old games you can’t get any more? Like for the Genesis or the SNES? It’s not that people don’t offer compensation in those cases, they can’t.

  12. 0
    Jack Thompson is a douchbag says:

    I should say that videogames are bad for you and teach you how to kill to see what people would start saying to me. That would be hillarious! Mmmm i might do that someday. Everyone on this forum would be cursing me out and stuff like that. It would be very funny.

  13. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    E. Zachary Knight
    neither dose paying 50$ for a horrible game that can not be returned , having one side being SOL dose not make things fair or right.

    ya and how many games are republished physically?
    or digitally for that matter I buy it once I am never going to by it again and on top of that I wont bother buying different versions(PS2,Xbox,PC,ect) of it unless I love the product.

    As for the free trade, you must remember what the old CP/IP law was made for to keep profits in the hands of the publishers for a short amount of time (under 20 years), by making old stuff free to consume and trade the industry can focus on remakes and new CP/IP, by making CP/IP last 100 years the only people to make most of the profit is not the creators of it but the company that bought those rights, content creators get the rough end of the stick NO MATTER WHATS DONE, better to side with the consumer than the industry who’s raping both sides.

    Downloads do no equal sales so don’t even go there, and new digi distro media will have more polish on it than the old thus making the new worth buying to the burnt of consumers.

    In the end you can not make a thirsty man drink at the desert oasis in the middle of a shower, it dose not matter if downloaders buy or not because they are cheap they will wind up buying used anyway which means your arguments over supporting the content creators are in vain and this is the crutch of the downloading/share argument there are not enough people who are willing to buy new within the 3-8 month time frame needed to save a title much less profit off it.

    The 5 years then free to trade idea thats been rotting in my brain is nothing more than a expansion of fair use, as for downloading I wouldn’t mind a tax on computers and burning media if the gray area was left alone but lets be frank the media mafia wants you to buy everything from them and not let you transcode, backup or ANYTHING without paying them first and the average content creator is not going to see a dime of that protection racket money.

  14. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    Let me add to my above post:

    If you download a game and play it completely through, it was worth the money you should have paid. If by some chance you stopped playing part the way through because you didn’t like it or what ever, the developer failed to deliver on their promise to entertain you. So you owe them nothing.

    But by playing the game all the way through, the game was entertaining enough to meat their promise, thus you owe them compensation for upholding their end of the bargain.

    I am not for draconian copy protection. I love the idea of being able to back up my games and play those back ups. I love the idea of being able to try before you buy. A good demo can be your best marketing tool.

    I can also accept the idea of downloading a rom or crack of a game you have already purchased and own.

    But downloading a pirated game so that you can avoid the lines at retail is the stupidest excuse for stealing I can imagine.

  15. 0
    Spartan says:

    @las – No doubt. A download suspected or not does not equal a lost sale. The number touted by all the IPR groups are simply self serving garbage.
    @Zippy – No doubt. Fair use does not equal piracy.
    @kurisu – A great post. I agree completely.

    The industry would do well to follow StarDock’s policy on gaming for the PC.

  16. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Pretty much they wont do any real work yet go after the small fish that cannot breath out of water and then complain they with the real criminals are the the reason why the industry is bigger than ever!

    After the ICE stunt they are on the level of the RIAA IMO….

  17. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I know I am a fool and a moron and here is a lot of gramamrical errors in the above, my point is you can not enforce anti downloading or shearing methods without changing real life shearing and resale.

    the industry is creating more problems for it self with heavy handed tactics, look at the RIAA we do not need another RIAA, we need a trade association that understands consumers have rights and that you can not write a sub sect of them off as criminals.

    1.Right of return,both the retail and publishers need to suck it up or quite whining about sharing.

    2.Use of backups via after market devices(still under fair use but the DMCA out rules it).

    3.5 year time limit on free trading, which is different than public domain, any profit aspect of the CP/IP use must be approved by the rights holders otherwise its free info the public can use or ignore.

    Oh BTW Bioshock PC is still not fully cracked the new patch has yet to be cracked, you can play the broken out of the box version without having to use the crappy activation system but why bother the mouse is horrible…
    After losing the manual I had to buy another used copy I have put about 60$ into the game been using the activation revoke tool to ensure I get some of the install tokens back.

  18. 0
    Archgabe says:

    On us gamers comming to the rescue:
    If we are doing their job of protecting the creators and their work from tabloid news outlets and others then we gamers diserve a cut of the paycheck that the ESA gets for slacking off. Hear me? ESA is slacking!

    Gamers, as a whole, are probably the most unreliable form of protection. Sure, when we strike, we strike hard but we also can quickly loose focus and start playing that new, shiney game. Also, our collective opinion is almost bipolar. One day we will be lauding over a game company for making a good game and then come back a week later and you get Godwin’s Law violations off the charts.

    In short, ESA. DO your own freking job becuase the second we are no longer willing to fight your battles for you… You get the idea.

  19. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    E. Zachary Knight
    I disagree the key thing is profit, if no profit is being traded then no harm is bing done you can not tell me there is a difference in non profit downloading (which there are truly few of) the next thing you will say you must’n let other borrow a game for it breaks the EULA or there needs to be a 5% tax on used game sales so publishers and rights holders can get a cut, I am sorry I believe that after 5 years EVERYTHING falls into public domain for free trading, retail can argue over who owns it and who has the right to sale it but they shall never tell me that I can not download or share something that has fallen out of publication or tell me I can not test a 50$ game because they wont take returns,without solid consumer rights we are sheep awaiting the slaughter… so some us have grew some teeth and have a taste for flesh.

    Piracy is about profits downloading and sharing is about SHEARING and if one feels the need to by retail they can, I am sorry if you feel the retail system must be protected from the 10-20% of all consumers by tossing a 30year old out of his house who just happens to be a 20 year collector of gaming and might 30 backups of stuff he bought and 3 or 4 mod chipd consoles out of 10 consoles and 300 games ZOMG THE SKY IS FALLING!!

    Spirit of fair use gives me the right to try a game before I buy it, also if legaitmant downloading was not 20% above retail and protected to the point of it not working or spying on its use the 10-20$ of consumers might buck up and spend 20$ for a game thats currently double priced!.

    I am sorry but the media industry has made its bed long before it decided to go after the consumer!

    Piracy is a part of life you have 2 ways to do it, go after the people that download songs like recording from the radio or go after thos that seek to undercut and damage the industry on the retail playing filed, if I am being to wordy for you, go where the money is not on the cavegeek who flexes alil personal freedom.

    yes and no, we are a society based on consumption, media is now equatable to food, but regardless the metaphor stands, the media mafia draws a line in the sand and tell us to consume all we want for a price and yet some of us consumers deem their price to high so we cross the line now and then looking for and testing their apples and sometimes we buy sometimes we do not we are after all fickle as all hell.

    It will only take a couple tweaks to the DMCA to ban cracks and trainers and any software that dares circumvent code of any kind, going after the gray area is never a good thing because without it the Xbox would have never took off and the PSP would have lost nearly half its unit sales, going after for profit sites and outlets that trade in unlicensed goods is the best approach.

    Even still the industry could innovate here some and create a online system that lets you run backups you just pay a fee, not to mention by brining coders out into the light you can steal their ideas and sale new products.

    For me the industry is unwilling to innovate in price, control customization, cheating, use of backups, retail protections these issues have left me cold time and time again if the industry will not adapt to the needs of the consumer than the consumer needs to learn how to hunt,fish and survive in the digital age, buy what you love by all means even buy what you like but not let them steal your hard earned money over crappy products.

  20. 0
    kurisu7885 says:


    That wasn’t a food metaphor it was an illegal hunting metaphor.

    Poaching as Zippy spoke of it is hunting an area without permission.

  21. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    I almost stopped reading after that MPAA bullshit.

    The MPAA rating system is far more faulty than the ESRB’s so
    I’m surprised anyone respects them.

    And nice made up figures Mike. Yes, that’s a nice tactic, put geeks who just want to play import or homebrew games in prison and leave the real pirates out there. You know if you ease up on the anti piracy restrictions it might reduce piracy. Not to mention games WE CAN’T GET LEGALLY ANYMORE AS THEY AREN’T SOLD IN STORES ANY MORE!!!!! Why people can still get arrested for 20 year old games is beyond me.

    And the Mass Effect thing, IT’S NOT OUR JOB TO DEFEND YOUR POCKET BOOKS, THAT’S YOUR JOB!!! If you want us to keep it up, pay us for it next time. Because thanks to this I’m staying silent next time it occurs. Lazy ass.

  22. 0
    konrad_arflane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    “Oh and BTW downloading and pirating are 2 different things one is sharing information for free which falls under the “spirit” of fair use”

    Downloading a full game and playing it without paying definitely is not in the spirit of fair use. Fair use is when you reproduce part of a copyrighted work in the context of a review, response, commentary, or similar. You can’t simply decide to copy a work in its entirety, call “fair use”, and expect to get a way with it.

    “the other manufactures discs to sale unlicensed retail products for profit, one poaching on the kings land the other is stealing his jewels.”

    Yes, there are obvious differences between downloading a game to play it, and burning it to disks and selling them. However, the poaching metaphor really doesn’t work – games are not food, and if you can’t afford them, you may be bored, but you won’t starve.

    Much as I despise the various industries’ stances on piracy, people who seriously believe it is their right to play games (or listen to music, or watch movies) that people spent years making (and depend on for their livelihoods) for free aren’t much better. And no, one doesn’t justify the other, nor does the other justify the one (so to speak).

    There was a rather good article about piracy on Eurogamer recently:

  23. 0
    Ian Cooper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    $3 billion? Bullshit. I’d like to see where the figures come from that back up that claim… on second thought, I’m not sure I want to look up Mike Gallagher’s arse.

  24. 0
    Balance says:

    Pretty much everything Gallagher said in those excerpts triggers my MAFIAA-sense. If he’s any indication, the ESA is little more than the RIAA writ small. They do nothing to protect or support creators when trouble turns up, but they’re happy to use broken laws to abuse the public if they think it will put a few more bucks in their pockets.

    I understand why they feel the need to fight game piracy, although I strongly disapprove of their tactics–such as outright lying about the amount of money lost–but their failure to respond to the Mass Effect smear is unacceptable. I don’t think we can rely on these people to do anything but try to squeeze money out of us.

  25. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 says:

    I like what he said about those PTC jerks. They make campaign contributions too, right? So maybe we should target politicians who take money from them.

  26. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I said once before that the ESA is not our friend. In this article, Gallagher all but admitted that he fully backed the mod chip raids and is unapologetic believes he was out of line on any of it.

    Working with North Korea?! Sounds like the ESA has adopted the old American foreign policy of dancing with dictators there.

    It’s already just a disaster in the PC space…

    Disaster how?! Do you mean the awful DRM copy protection on BioShock or the on-disc protection on Crysis that wrecks DVD-ROM drives? If that’s what you mean then yeah, it’s a disaster. It’s also why more and more people are turning to Steam and other download sources.

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus that their silence on Mass Effect was inexcusiable. And no, we shouldn’t have to be the ones to defend the games. Situations like that are the the reasons why the ESA was created in the first place: a recognized body that is ready to respond to criticisms levelled against it. They can’t just pick and choose what games to defend, nor should they not defend a game because it’s inconvenient for them.

    When Gallagher was appointed head of the ESA and it was revealed that he had been part of the Bush administration, I predicted bad times. I wanted to be wrong and for a while he actually did seem like a decent guy. But now he’s showing his true colors and it looks like my intial impressions were borne out after all. I hate to be the one to say I told you so.

  27. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Apparently I am not awake yet. I will restate that:

    “To me, the ESA IS the new RIAA/MPAA.”

    I need to go drink some OCHA (Green Tea).

  28. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ gs2005

    How is the ECA (Entertainment Consumer Association) like the RIAA. The ECA fights for gamer rights. They fight legislation as well as game publishers. Although they don’t support piracy, they do fight against restrictions placed on legit game buyers. They hate DRM, they like being allowed to make backup copies of your games.

    The ESA and RIAA supposedly fight for the content creators. They fight piracy on every level. The ESA supports DRM. They hate letting gamers make back up copies.

  29. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    “”Domestically, we had a sting where we used 20 different locations, 16 different U.S. Attorney offices, which simultaneously busted a network of traffickers of pirated goods here in the United States.””

    HEIL! to the media mafia HEIL!
    Nothing like thumbing the heads of people over draconian laws, I m sorry the only pirates are the ones selling the software not the people practicing FAIR USE….
    “”For video games, [piracy is] a $3 billion issue,””
    more like 10% there of, the 2 main factors you always forget is the number of people willing to pirate/share and the number of people who wont buy it regardless and figure out their maybe 20-30% of the consumer market and about half of them are the ones that constantly download/pirate.

    Oh and BTW downloading and pirating are 2 different things one is sharing information for free which falls under the “spirit” of fair use the other manufactures discs to sale unlicensed retail products for profit, one poaching on the kings land the other is stealing his jewels.
    “”Gallagher acknowledged the clout wielded by game consumers in the Mass Effect episode:””
    non answer FAIL,next!
    “”The ESA head diplomatically side-stepped GDB’s question about how the industry viewed the current field of presidential candidates:””
    non answer FAIL,next!

    I don’t let suits double talk for one second you guys are heading to be the next RIAA a association made to bully the consumer and get a cut from media industry!

  30. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While I have great respect for Hal Halpin’s ECA, I do not think highly of the ESA. To me, the ECA IS the new RIAA/MPAA.

  31. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    Having only read the hilights posted here, I must say, the ESA is on very shaky ground with me.

    First off, you cannot truly messure piracy. Yes it is happening. Yes PC gaming is suffering from it. But there probably not as much as they say there is. For one, only a very minority portion of the game playing public pirates. The average people are not tech savvy enough or not willing to take the time to pirate. Why search for a decent crack when the real coppy is only a twenty minute drive away?

    Next, the Mass Effect thing is just plain wrong. They should have said something. They knew that the media was sensationalizing it. They could have public decried Fox News. But I think that the ESA was probably more worried about losing Fox’s support rather than protectin gthe image of the gmae industry. They say that they pick and choose their battles when it involves one game, but they shouldn’t. They represent all game publishers and developers. By proxy they represent all games. They should be willing to fight for all games. At least ones that are affiliated with them.

    To say that the gamers did a bang up job so we didn’t have to do anything, is stupid. Are you going to rely on the gamers from now on? I hope not. Gamers are very unpredictable as shown by the Fox News crap. But you are a structured organization and should be using that yto your advantage.

    I want to believe that the ESA has the best interest of the publishers and developers at heart, but everytime I read something about them or from them, they sound more like the RIAA than anything.

  32. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What a crock. The Mass Effect silence was inexcusable- the whole issue would have been a slam dunk for the ESA. This is the same “head in the sand” attitude is what will cause game censorship. Its not the responsibility of the game consumers to be the defenders.

    Also, is he saying that politicians put pressure on the games industry just so they can get kiss-ass $$? That sounds just cynical enough to believe.

  33. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Zippy

    I am not saying that trying before you buy is bad. I am saying that for every game that is downloaded and played completely through without paying the game’s creator, you are denying that creator compensation for their work. Thus stealing from that developer. If you like the game enough to play it all the way through, you owe that developer compensation for that experience.

    I will not accept your position. The same goes for out of production games. But that is another issue as I feel that all game creators should make some effort to keep their games in circulation.

    Try to deny it all you want but just because someone did not make money off making the download available does not make it right.

  34. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Zippy

    I hope I read that wrong, but are you saying that when someone other than the games creator makes a game available for free download, they are not a pirate?

    That is wrong. When something is created and the creator asks for people to pay for it to enjoy it and someone comes along and gives it away fro free, the creator is losing.

    Piracy is not limited to disk pressing organizations. Pirates proliferate on P2P. That is their true home. Sure there are some who make money off of copyrighted work, but the real damage is those who thrive off of stealing the business of content creators by giving their work away for free.

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