Has NC Interactive Left the ESA?

It would appear that financially-troubled NC Interactive (the US arm of Korea’s NCsoft) has left the membership ranks of game publishers trade association the Entertainment Software Association.

Last month, NCsoft announced that it plans to shut down underperforming MMO Tabula Rasa early in 2009. Facing a difficult financial picture, NC Soft has laid off a number of employees at locations in both the US and UK. The publisher also recently parted ways with famed Ultima series designer Richard Garriott. 

Departing the ESA is likely a cost-cutting measure for NC, which also chose not to exhibit at E3 this year. Game publishers pay significant fees to belong to the organization. While no announcement was made by either NC Interactive or the ESA, the trade association’s membership page no longer lists NC among its ranks.

It has been a difficult 2008 for the ESA, which began the year with 28 member companies. As NC exits there are now just 21, meaning that CEO Mike Gallagher’s outfit has lost a quarter of its membership in 2008.

As GamePolitics reported in October, Codemasters was the most recent company to depart. Game publishers confirmed as leaving the ESA this year include:

  • Activision
  • Vivendi
  • LucasArts
  • id
  • Crave
  • Codemasters

We have a request in to the ESA for confirmation on NC’s apparent departure.

UPDATE: Confirmed by ESA Senior VP Rich Taylor:

We can confirm that NCsoft decided not to renew its ESA membership.  We respect their decision and remain committed to serving the public affairs needs of the computer and video game industry.

UPDATE 2: NCsoft’s David Wofford has told GP that the decision was not a financial one. See our follow-up story.

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22 comments

  1. chris251984 says:

    It’s truly nice to be reading and writing about NC interactive here, I feel like privileged guy in here, just looking forward to contribute here more! Freestyle Medela

     

  2. j0k3r says:

    Thanks good job;

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle

    YES.

    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

  3. oto kirlama says:

    Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it’s due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA’s Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there’s no one left on the Board.

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

    YES.

    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

     

  4. the1jeffy says:

    Umm, does anyone pay attention to other industries’ trade orgs?  Their memberships are down over 2008, too.

    So, all the "ESA is going away" people, grow up and do a little research.  2008 was a terrible year for business.

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  5. SeanB says:

    only 21 members left. Wow. I remember when the ESA really took off. I thought they were gonna be the new crutch of the industry. Too bad it didn’t work out that way.

  6. Spartan says:

    Gee.. hardline DRMers one and all – things that you hmmmm……

    —————————————————————————

    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  7. Mirrikat says:

    Well the ECA was created because the consumer had nobody lobbying for our rights, and the ESA only really cares about its member’s rights. It would be hard to combine to completly opposite organisations.

  8. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I wonder if there will even be an ESA and an ECA in a few years? For all we know there might be a fusion coming up.

    ——————————————————————————

    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  9. rma2110 says:

    Maybe the companies leave the ESA because they seem to benifit no one?

    Publishers need to wake up to the fact that DRM benifits no one but the DRM company. "Oblivion" only had a simple CD check, and I loved being able to copy my Oblivion DVD and keep the originsl nice and shiny. The lack of DRM didn’t seem to hurt any. I was dissapointed that Fallout 3 had SecUROM. Why Bethesda?

    Give us DLC that only registered users can buy or download. Give us little knick knacks like a map or a coin. Make the customr feel like a legitimate customer instead of a dirty theif.

  10. Hevach says:

    Probably a bit of both – NCsoft almost certainly did it for financial reasons first. Activision and Vivendi may have had something to do with the merger, but as far as I know, nobody gave a concrete reason, which makes sense as they may rejoin in the future regardless of why they left now, or may do business with member companies – all three console makers are on the list, after all, if you manage to alienate them all, you’re pretty much shut out of the business.

  11. Dan says:

    Pardon my being out of the loop, but why did those other companies quit?

    Was it just from the Membership fees, or some kind of ideological differences?

    I’ve always had plenty of respect for id and Lucasarts.

    Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

  12. VideolandHero says:

    More like DRM ends when the ESA goes away and the ECA will actually do something.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  13. PHX Corp says:

    I think if the ESA and ECA merge then It will mean the end of DRM (or it will be changed to a more consumer friendly approach when it comes down to DRM)

  14. Wolvenmoon says:

    This is potentially excellent news.

    However, korea’s investment is not, at least not for U.S. publishers.

    This copyright and DRM crap needs to be resolved in ‘favor of the consumer’, fast, or the industry will crash in the U.S.

    "But that means businesses lose!"

    No, it means they have to continue to compete and innovate, instead of be able to extract money out of consumers. Their attention to the pirates is the reason the gaming industry is in such trouble in the first place, and was BEFORE our economic trouble.

  15. tallimar says:

    imho, i dont see some kind of merger between esa/eca happening in any form.  the possibility of a new esa forming seems quite plausible on the other hand as the dissafected publishers will probably group up… that’s my guess anyways.

  16. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Looking at the current ESA,MPAA and RIAA I can only hope it will be a bettter asociation…
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  17. VideolandHero says:

    With everybody leaving, I think the current ESA will not exist in a few years but a new age ESA will be made that everybody will go to.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

Comments are closed.