E3 Expo owner the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) offered some lovely statistics on the industry and the gaming populace at the opening of the event today in Los Angeles. According to the ESA, 49 percent of all American households are playing games in some form, with a large number of households playing their favorite game apps on smartphones, tablets and handheld devices. More than 30 percent play games on their smartphones, compared to 20 percent last year.
Is E3 done as a Los Angeles institution in 2013? According to an LA Times report it may relocate if problems associated with the construction of Farmers Field and the rebuilt convention center are not resolved. This is according to Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the organization that owns and operates the annual games industry event.
The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners declare June to be "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." June has been proclaimed "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month" by the groups since 2004. The participating organizations are encouraging movie theaters, and retailers of movies, music, and video games to highlight the importance of ratings systems to their customers.
A recent interview with Mojang's Chief Executive Carl Manneh on IT 24 (translated by MCVNordic and reported on by GamesBeat) reveals that the Minecraft maker is seriously considering a subscription model for its popular world building game and why it decided to boycott the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles this summer.
In a freshly-posted interview with Gamasutra, the ESRB's top executive talks about making the voluntary ratings system used by the North American video game industry a universal ratings system, among various topics including how to deal with getting consistent ratings on mobile and portable platforms such as Android and iOS devices and the challenges related to digitally distributed games.
The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) sent out a congratulatory message to Oklahoma gamers who defeated a law in the state that would have added a 1 percent "sin tax" to mature rated video games. The goal of the tax was to fund juvenile obesity programs. House Bill 2696 never made it out of committee and a proposal to create an Oklahoma Task Force on Video Games' Relationship to Obesity and Aggression also failed approval.
The state of California has agreed to pay the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) $950,000 in legal fees related to arguing Brown v. EMA before the U.S. Supreme Court. When combined with reimbursements for the 2008 case (which the state already paid), the grand total that California paid the ESA comes to $1,327,000.
The organizers of the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) have revealed the recipients of two of its Special Awards: the Pioneer Award and the Ambassador Award. The Pioneer Award is given to a developer for creating breakthrough video game genres or concepts that have a lasting impact on the industry. The Ambassador Award is given to individuals who do something that elevates the video game development community and industry as a whole.
As we reported last week, a petition at Change.org is asking Electronic Arts to publicly come out against SOPA. The number of signatures now sits north of 135,000.
Andrew Eisen gives us a visual representation of how gamers felt when they heard the news that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act. Is this the thanks gamers get from the trade group representing the video game industry after all of their hard work in Brown v. EMA?
We'll let you judge for yourselves. This is probably the best video Andrew has ever made, in my humble opinion. Watch it to you left and be sure to stop by Andrew's YouTube Channel to subscribe.
What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.
Maybe the comments on the Video Game Voters Network (the Entertainment Software Association's advocacy group for gamers) Facebook page are purely anecdotal, or represent what Lamar Smith (the Texas Republican Congressman who is to lead sponsor on the Stop Online Piracy Act) calls a very "vocal minority," but the entire page seems to be inundated with negative comments.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has put together a nice little list of where each member of the ESA stand on SOPA. While many of the member companies have not responded, the list shows that - when pressed - many don't support it.
A report on Digital Trends confirms that Capcom supports the efforts of the ESA as it relates to the Stop Online Piracy Act, though the confirmation is merely one sentence from a Capcom representative.
When asked about the company's support, Capcom's representative responded in an email saying "The ESA represents us on these matters."
In a brief statement on the official Epic Games forums, PR Manager Dana Crowley shared the company's position on the Stop Piracy Online Act. The short story is that they do not support it in its current form.
Epic also acknowledges that they are a member of the Entertainment Software Association, which strongly supports the house bill that will be taken up again by the House Judiciary community on January 23.
From the Epic forums:
Take a look at this list. We love the companies on this list because, for the most part, they make great games. The problem is that they are members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and by proxy they support SOPA. And, according to the statement issued to Joystiq today, the ESA is not backing down from that support.
In a statement emailed to Joystiq, the trade group said the following:
Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games - the company behind Serious Sam: Double D - has written an open letter to members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) asking them to urge the trade group to drop its support of SOPA. He also urged gamers, supposedly represented by the ESA and its Video Game Voters Network, to urge the group to drop its support of the bill as well.
It looks like Nintendo, Sony, and Electronic Arts have withdrawn their support for the much maligned SOPA bill. An update to the government’s list of SOPA supporters (PDF) no longer sports the companies’ names (although Sony’s music divisions are still on there).
Why the change of heart? We’re not sure.
Entertainment Software Association (ESA) CEO Mike Gallagher has written a letter to the industry and the public calling 2011 "historic." One of the key reasons 2011 was such a great year for the games industry and gamers was because of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA, which shot down the California anti-video game law penned by California State Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) - though there were certainly plenty of other milestones to celebrate.
The ESRB and the CTIA detailed a new ratings systems for mobile games this week - backed by such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Two companies that were curiously absent from that list hold the lion's share of the market when it comes to platforms: Apple and Google.
The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group that represents the video game industry, spent almost $1.1 million in lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. in the third quarter of 2011. The group lobbied on a variety of issues such as energy efficiency, entertainment industry ratings, parental control technology, foreign trade policy reform, the H1-B visa program, piracy, and copyright issues. The group spent about the same amount of money that it did in the second quarter of this year - slightly less than in the third quarter of 2010.
The Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) has teamed up with trade group Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association to create a standardized rating system for mobile applications and games. The ESRB says that the new ratings system will be "based on age-appropriateness of their content and context," according to Gamasutra. An official announcement on the new ratings system will take place next Tuesday in Washington, DC.
It looks like the State of California and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) have not quite completed their courtroom business together, but the rest of their battle will take place in a lower court.
The Supreme Court of the United States chose not to make a ruling on the EMA’s request that the court award it $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and expenses related to Brown v. EMA (08-1448). Instead, the court sent it back to the Ninth Circuit Court for adjudication.
Entertainment Software Association (ESA) president and CEO Michael Gallagher went before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to promote the use of video games and game-like technologies for educational purposes. The talk, entitled "STEM in Action: Inspiring the Science and Engineering Workforce of Tomorrow," was meant to emphasize the fact that games are very effective in encouraging children to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).