The leadoff question from interviewer Phil Elliott concerns the May incident in which Dan Hewitt, public relations head for game publishers' lobbying group ESA, said some nasty things about GamePolitics (e.g., "Calling GamePolitics a news site is as laughable as saying there's a Cuban free press.").
gi.biz has previously spanked Hewitt and the ESA over the incident. In today's interview Hal Halpin pointed out that some level of conflict between the consumer focus of the ECA and GamePolitics and the publisher-centric ESA, is inevitable:
The vast majority of time our expectations and our goals and our challenges are going to be the exact same as those of the IGDA [International Game Developers Association], the EMA [Entertainment Merchants Assocation] and the ESA - because they represent the industry and we represent the consumers.
And 80 per cent of the time we'll get along great, but that other 20 per cent of the time we're going to be divergent in terms of our interests on behalf of our members - and with respect to the comment that the ESA issued, I chalk it up to a month or two of frustration on behalf of the individual who made the statement. It was a difficult couple of months and they were under a lot of pressure, getting a lot of bad press, and it was easy to take a swipe. It was unfortunate and I think he regrets it.
Asked whether the ESA's future was cloudy, Halpin said:
The ESA is still very viable and the association is really needed. Because of that couple of weeks of discontent between the associations I think people are under the false impression that we want to see anything bad happen to the ESA - and that is not at all the case.
You know, I think a strong and vibrant ESA is really important to the sector as a whole as far as their membership going forward...
Hal also dishes on used game sales and other issues.
FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.