ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

July 17, 2008 -

ESA CEO Michael Gallagher (left) addressed the E3 crowd for the first time yesterday afternoon. Gallagher, hired in May, 2007, opted out of speechifying at last July's E3 in Santa Monica, citing newness in the position.

Yesterday's 2008 state-of-the-industry address was a workmanlike effort that had no major high or low points.

Although not seemingly a natural public speaker, Gallagher delivered a credible performance which would have been helped greatly by a warmer venue and better attendance. By our estimate, only 75-100 people caught Gallagher's speech, delivered in a cavernous meeting room at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Why not utilize the LACC's cozy theater, as the ESA has in years past?

The biggest disappointment in our view was that there was no audience Q&A following Gallagher's address. The ESA boss did, however, field one-on-one questions from media types after his talk.

Gallagher termed the current era the "golden age" of gaming and made five recommendations for going forward: 

  • Remember our base. Never forget our loyal fanbase. We must continually push forward and look for new tech to keep them interested and involved.
  • Welcome new gamers. Welcome in converts who've joined us recently, continue to serve them, as well.
  • Broaden the use of games. Remembering it is still play, games are increasingly not just recreational. And this is a good thing and a growth trend that must be protected and strengthened.
  • Help parents. We must continue to look for innovative ways to ensure games are parent-approved. All hardware providers include parental controls; this a great step. They now need education on how to use parental tools such as these controls.
  • We must unite to support our policy interests.

The "remember the base" remark is oddly remiscent of partisan politics. Gallagher, of course, was a Bush Administration official before taking the helm at ESA. Although GameSpot felt that Gallagher took a shot at his predecessor, Doug Lowenstein with this remark:

In my predecessor's time, our organization was fighting politicians, not having them embrace us.

...we didn't take it that way, believing that Gallagher was simply commenting on the times. After all, if politicians have learned that they can't successfully legislate game content, those battles were either won or begun on Lowenstein's watch.

As with Gov. Perry's keynote, I live-blogged Gallagher's speech on Twitter. I've pasted those observations in after the jump. Once again, these are unedited SMS messages, entered via mobile phone. Please forgive misspellings, punctuation, etc.

ESA boss starts state of the biz speech

Gallagher starts off by thanking guv perry, calls perry's talk "inspirational"...says two years ago it was unthinkable 4 politician 2 be@E3

Gallagher touting the widespread cultural penetration of games...

He mentions a variety of serious games/games for health type products... Mentions advances in game tech

Gallagher speech is better attended than guv perry's keynote. He has maybe 75-100 people here

Gallagher talking about sales numbers, mentions Halo 3, GTA IV launches... There are 80K game biz workers in US

Discussing stats in the booklet they hand out. Sez corp America embracing games for training

Gallagher sez entering the golden era of gaming

Sez: remember the base, welcome new casual gamers, broaden use of games, help parents on content assurance

He also calls for unity on policy issues, mentions partnerships with officials by ESRB. Mentions UK ratings debate, sez self-regulation best

Talks about unconstitutional state laws, political criticisms, waste of taxpayer $$$...

Sez 100K members of VGVN, wants to double that by next E3

Wrapping up...

Will he take audience questions? No... Walking offstage. That's too bad

Overall I thought Gallagher's speech was so-so. A bit rushed, and he does not project especially well. Said all the right things, though

 


Comments

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

  • 1.Remember our base. Never forget our loyal fanbase. We must continually push forward and look for new tech to keep them interested and involved.
  • 2.Welcome new gamers. Welcome in converts who've joined us recently, continue to serve them, as well.
  • 3.Broaden the use of games. Remembering it is still play, games are increasingly not just recreational. And this is a good thing and a growth trend that must be protected and strengthened.
  • 4.Help parents. We must continue to look for innovative ways to ensure games are parent-approved. All hardware providers include parental controls; this a great step. They now need education on how to use parental tools such as these controls.
  • 5.We must unite to support our policy interests.

1.How about focus on gamepaly/quality to keep them interested instead of improve the look of the hamster run mill?

2.Nothing wrong in welcoming in the newbie’s....worshiping them with titles geared for them that are low in content and quality is wrong....VERY WRONG.....

3.Sorry but watering down content for better market saturation is destroying video games, expanding the term "video game" is not so bad as long as you remember it has to be played, thus gameplay and controls need to be polished and gamers need button mapping to make the game more comfortable for them to play.

4.Parent approved? FUCK OFF!!! that’s one of the huge problems with the industry by focusing on parents, now that all the new consoles have parental controls it’s time to force the console makers to start using AO as a rating level.

 

5.You need polices in place that don’t rape the public before there can be any uniting.

 

And yes I know I misconstrued what he said some but it needs to be said the current “boxed”  retail game designs they are using need to be tossed out the window and a focus on gameplay(and button mapping as a standard) design as well as layered 3D level design I something the industry just cannot do well.

 

Both Castlevina and Mega man are prime examples of how antiquated can make them bleed money and they go back into the dev house spew out a few cash ins and then come out with the same BS if the industry was no trying to copy right gameplay a company could start up based on commissioned work that shows the devs who’ve been working to long on these projects the flaws in the design shine light on the progress and maybe change enough of the stagnate and antiquated to make games better, of course that is if devs and the suits think what they are doing in the least bit out of touch…..

 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


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Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

AO is a non-rating. ESRB Head Pat Whosits is perfectly fine with the idea that an AO title will see no retail space.

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

Yes, let's not forget our fanbase and how we hate them for using our games the way we meant them to. Yes, let's embrace new gamers by scaring them away from the industry with horror stories of gamers turned gangsters. Yes, let's broaden the game blame from just the rising crime rate, to high school dropouts and low GPAs, to even disease epidemics. What else can we blame games for? Yes, let's have politicians embrace us by accepting how evil games are, and how they've trained children to be killers. Hey, if you can't beat 'em...join 'em. What a hypocrit. I agree with what he says, but he doesn't. He doesn't mean a word of that speech. The liar.

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

My best guess is that he has issues with the current head of the ESA.

As for the show, to me it sounded more like "ESA isn't irrelevant!  We need to gather together... behind me."

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

I'm confused about the part where the ESA is talking about games making gangsters, unless I read it wrong.

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

Okay..  where did that come from?

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

inaction for a bush lacky emans they can leave games open for scapgaoting.

if you want to getinto such thoughts ^^

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

I'd say that attendance says it all...  People are leaving ESA because Gallagher is not seen as an influential voice in the gaming industry.  His speech being after Perry's also seemed like a, "See what I did?  I got the politicians to come see us!  No worries about anti-game legislation anymore, got it covered.  We're all going to be friends!"

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

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

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

Isn't that special. Now if the ESA had succeeded in getting tax incentives in every state, that may be worth some consideration.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

I agree because if that happens then the video game industry would be recognized as viable.  Right now the politicians seem to view it as a nuisance.  A view the ESA should already be in the process of changing or changed.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole Texas thing.  Washington and California governors are more relevant to the gaming industry than Perry right now.  Nothing against Texas mind you, they just don't have the major players in the industry as state residents right now.

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

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

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

They have a rather large group of developers in the state. Among the id software.

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

It must have been a neat experience to be in the hall listening to all the crickets.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

Policy Interests..

1.      Increase Copyright Restrictions…. In Progress.

2.      Draconian enforcement…. Check.

3.      Raping the idea of fair use….. Check.

4.      Do Nothing to Change the obviously ineffective usage of DRM…. Check.

Pardon us for not "uniting".


 

Re: ESA Head Delivers State-of-the-Biz Speech

WIht that he coudl have just said "We hate our tehiving scumbag customers" and been done with it.

 
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