GamePolitics has learned that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the interests of U.S. video game publishers, is consolidating operations by shutting down its New York office.
Although the ESA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., it has long maintained a New York office which it shares with the ESRB, the video game industry’s content rating organization. The ESRB will remain up and running at the New York location.
ESA New York was headed by Senior VP and General Counsel Gail Markels (left), a respected former Brooklyn prosecutor. Markels’ status in the consolidation remains unclear, although there are strong indications that she is (or shortly will be) out of a job.
Nor was hers an insignificant position. Markels earned $317,000 in 2005, the last year for which GamePolitics has data.
The New York office’s responsibilities included dealing with state-level video game legislation. Under Markels’ watch the video game industry compiled a flawless litigation record in that regard, persuading federal courts that all nine video game laws passed at the state level were unconstitutional.
A February ESA press release announced that DC-based VP Ed Desmond was assuming the organization’s state-level legislative duties as part of new responsibilities.
GamePolitics was unable to get a comment from the ESA for this story.