BREAKING: Another ESA Departure as Crave Leaves Game Publishers Trade Group

Another US video game publisher has left the membership ranks of the Entertainment Software Association.

This time it’s California-based Crave Entertainment (World Championship Poker featuring Howard Lederer, Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection).

While the company is still listed on the member page of the ESA website, GamePolitics has learned from a knowledgeable source that Crave is no longer a member of the organization, which represents the interests of US video game publishers. Despite leaving ESA, Crave will be exhibiting at next month’s E3.

It’s unclear why Crave’s departure was not made public. GamePolitics has requested comment from both Crave and the ESA on the decision. 

Crave thus becomes the fifth publisher to leave the ESA this year, following earlier departures by Activision, Vivendi, LucasArts and id.

UPDATE: The ESA has confirmed Crave’s departure, forwarding this statement from Rich Taylor, Senior Vice President of Communications and Research:

We can confirm that Crave has decided not to renew its membership in the ESA. We value each member of our association, but respect their decision. In conversations with Crave, representatives stated that they value their longstanding membership with the ESA and remain committed to the values and goals of the association.

UPDATE 2: Crave has confirmed with this statement from president Michael Maas:

Crave’s departure from ESA at this juncture is not a statement against the value provided by our longstanding membership, but rather was motivated by our need to focus on the impending sale of our company. We will be re-evaluating our decision, hopefully in the near future. Crave still supports the goals and aims of ESA.

UPDATE 3: Crave has been removed from the ESA member page.

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  1. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Personally I am slightly hoping this leads to the downfall of the ESA and the rise of a better group, basically the group the ESA use to be before they screwed everything up. I think with everything thats happened it would be kind of hard for the ESA to get its good name back

  2. 0

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.
    For information on games and psychology, look up:
    Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl

  3. 0
    Anonymous says:

    @ GP:

    Am I the only one who sees posts with just a few enteries?

    When you covered the J T bar thing in FL, you had like 300 posts a day. Any news…… Please?

  4. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    I just hope the ESRB gets spun off before the ship sinks completely.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  5. 0
    Anonymous says:

    If the ESA was more active in defending their publishers, they wouldn’t be jumping ship. There might be information within the ESA that we dont know about.

  6. 0
    snoopy2 says:

    Don’t forget that the ESA represent the member companies and their policies, so if these are sticking point issues with you, blame and fight the companies themselves. The ESA (like all lobbying groups and associations do in theory) just do what their members tell them what to do.

  7. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The ESA’s stance on video game censorship and copywrite infringement are enough for me to say "Good riddance". Why won’t this horrid organization die already?!

  8. 0
    Icehawk says:

    Forgot replacing Gallagher.   I say scrap and replace and possibly rebuild the ESA.   Toss in some competition, give the game companies more options.  Who knows, this might even have the effect of having happy companies to make better games for we gamer types. 

  9. 0
    snoopy2 says:

    Reinstituting member fees based on E3 instead of revenue-based fees would solve several problems. But in doing so, the publishers would have to admit that they were wrong in wanting to downsize E3, which is going to take a little more time and embarrassment before they can admit that.

  10. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Not in the USA. We have the EMA whichrepresents game retailers and the ECA which represents consumers. We also have the IGDA which represents the developers, the actual people not companies. For game development or publishing companies, we have only the ESA.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA Myspace Page


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

  11. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Maybe Crave could work on a poker game that doesn’t crash half the time now?

    Just a thought, but are there any other organisations for the Gaming Industry other than the ESA?  (ECA being for consumers, obviously)

  12. 0
    Gray-17 says:

    Difficult to say if any of them would be back soon. Right now we’ve got a couple possiblities of why companies are jumping ship. First is that they’re fed up with Gallagher. Second is that they’re unhappy with the increased costs associated with experimenting with E3.

    Replacing Gallagher wouldn’t fix the second problem.

  13. 0
    JW says:

    If this is indeed true, then I would imagine that Crave and the ESA agreed to keep their departure quiet until after E3.

    Personally, I don’t see this so much as a protest of the ESA as it is a protest of Mike Gallagher, and I have to think that if Gallagher were dismissed tomorrow, all five publishers would be back with the ESA by the end of July if the man who’d replace Gallagher showed himself to not be a complete dope.

  14. 0
    snoopy2 says:

    Can we start a Will Mike Gallagher be fired watch? It may not really be happening, but maybe it’ll wake up ESA’s board of directors/member companies/whoever hires & fires the President to take a good look at this guy. I’m still under the belief that an ESA is better than no ESA (maybe just for the fact that it strikes down assinine laws).

  15. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Minor loss? Maybe, but perhaps a troubling one.

    So far we have had only the big companies leave, the type that a outsider (or even insider perhaps) look at and go "Oh, well they probably think they can do a better job defending themselves personaly, they have the money." People like Blizzard and id have, no doubt, significant money they can use to defend themselves in court (legal and public opinion).

    However, now you have the first indication that the small companies which may not have the cashflow and ability to defend thier own games (even if none have been contriversal) leaving the group. They probably got more benifit per dollar then the big companies, since ESA probably acts in equal interest (well, idealy at any rate.) So it is the small company that one would think would NEED the ESA, and they are abandoning the ESA now?

    Of course, only speculation in what this means.

  16. 0
    infect999 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    never played a game from Crave that I enjoyed, so I don’t care so much about this one…still sucks to see more leaving though

  17. 0
    Deadman Reaper says:

    the thing is I kinda want to know the true reasoning not that "PR" bull that is being shoved out the door to leave such a large organization and everybody all happy happy joy joy sounds REALLY fishy????

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