Activision/Vivendi leave ESA, skip E3

Merging publishers cut ties with gaming-industry trade group and confirm absence from annual E3 Media & Business Summit.

Yesterday, selected members of the gaming press were sent an invitation to register for this year's E3 Media & Business Summit. The invitation offered a nontransferable registration to the 2008 event, which will return the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 15 to 17. It didn't take long for visitors to notice that though Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft were all listed as participating companies, a number of high-profile publishers did not appear on the list. Vivendi, Warner Bros, Bethesda, and several others are all currently missing from the Entertainment Software Association's E3 Web site, as is international superpublisher Activision.

GameSpot has since reached out to several prominent publishers that attended last year's show but were omitted from the ESA's recent list, and can confirm that Warner Bros., Bethesda, id Software, Majesco, and D3Publisher still plan to attend the event.

However, at least one publisher will not be in attendance at the ESA's annual event, which underwent significant downsizing last year. Activision has confirmed for GameSpot that not only will it not be attending this year's E3 Media & Business Summit in LA, but also that it has pulled out of the industry trade body entirely.

"After careful consideration, Activision has decided not to renew its ESA membership for business reasons and will not be participating in any official E3 activities," an Activision representative told GameSpot in a statement. "We appreciate the work that the ESA has done over the years in promoting the interactive entertainment industry with state and federal governments and wish the ESA best of luck with the show." The publisher did not clarify for GameSpot whether it would be holding an event in the LA area during the E3 time period.

Activision's pullout of the ESA indicates that impending merger partner Vivendi Games will follow suit. A statement from the ESA addressing Activision's move confirms that Vivendi has decided to not renew its membership with the lobbying and representative body.

"While the Entertainment Software Association remains the preeminent voice for U.S. computer and video game publishers, we can confirm that Activision and Vivendi Games opted to discontinue their membership," said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications and research, in a statement. "The ESA remains dedicated to advancing our industry's objectives, such as protecting intellectual property, preserving First Amendment rights, and fostering a beneficial environment for the entire industry. Our high level of service and value to members and the larger industry remains unchanged."

Vivendi has not responded to GameSpot's request for comment as to whether it or its subsidiaries, including Blizzard Entertainment and Sierra Entertainment, will be attending this year's show. However, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has recently said that he expects the near-$19 billion merger to conclude by the end of June, weeks before the annual industry event.

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163 comments
danieljeffboi
danieljeffboi

Oh well I guess when e3 becomes more serious then they will fight to attend it.Well i guess we just gotta wait.

XenoSage
XenoSage

Well with BlizzCon and their other Conventions being as big as E3 there's really no need anymore.

megamaster32
megamaster32

I agree E3 wasnt really good into new games glad they cancelled e3

popping4it
popping4it

E3 was always a joke either its a extremely over the top event with plastic boobs galore or it tries to be a business type press event with suits and ties but it failed at that too. TGS finds a good balance where the focus is the games and not cosplaying models who have absolutely no clue about the game they're dressed up for.

Arrena
Arrena

I have always loved the E company games. They have always rocked. One thing that has kept me away from the online games was paying TWICE for one game. There are absoletely awsome games out there where you only pay once, get online and have a wonderful experience. Maybe the E3 will learn this and fffiiixxx it! I certainly will spend my cash for it.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

that's fine for us, but i got one word for anyone who "hates" the "new" e3 after one year, losers!

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Strange that Vivendivision have decided to leave the ESA. I wonder what prompted that decision. It can't be lack of funds. Every other major publisher is in the ESA, so it will be a bit strange to have Activendi on the outside.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It may be because the entire entity is now going through an overhall. Leadership roles are changing and operations will likely follow suit. This puts a lot up in the air for the company. So, I think it is their way to be sure that they follow their own schedule for showing off their stuff this year. If they felt pressured to have stuff at E3, they might end up in a bind. Although there are lots of things gamers want to know about what's going on over there, it is probably in our best interest to wait until they are ready to release the info, then to be disappointed had they gone to E3. It's sad that they left the ESA, but hopefully that is just for a short time.

MaxCadillac
MaxCadillac

The show won't be open to anyone but the press. Bummer. I still think this is a somewhat lame move by Activision. Oh well.

guppieface
guppieface

My friend Bill over at Activision said that if there aren't any booth girls, there's no reason to go. The only contact a lot of these guys have with any other woman besides relatives was with these booth girls. Expect other horny companies to follow suit.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

ok why? maybe they have nothing to show us. e3 is always where companies show what good games they have coming out and for ativision not have anything to show would be unual . so i wonder why. as long as sega and capcom are there it should be a good show.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Good, I hope more compagnies will leave the event. it isn't worth anything now anyway. That way maybe, they'll think to go to how they were doing things before.

joshua05
joshua05

I hope them the best of Luck.

makemeweak
makemeweak

It's dissapointing that Activision/Vivendi will not be supporting the ESA. What possible reason could they have for abandoning the industry lobby?

ognen
ognen

E3 2008 Should rock! Can't wait for this thing!

Brmarlin
Brmarlin

Well.... GDC > E3 anyway.

j_cain341
j_cain341

Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't anyone else find Activision's business tactics jacked up a little? Even with this merger. Activision's Board of Executives needs to reconsider many of their business tactics. Otherwise, they may end up like Atari. A struggling company in the US. Of course, this is strictly my opinion.

theNexus
theNexus

Djungelurban, Activision did make sucky games back in the day, I remember the tape games on the C64 etc and how buggy Activision games were. Some not even playable all the way through, thing is they had the big titles even back then and they still sold... Batman, the golf games etc. And more recently they still have the big titles and they still sell.. Do not forget if you look at the actual top selling games you got some great titles in there but most of them are what us true gamers would class as a pile of crap but stick 50cent in it and all the hip hop folk etc buy the game even if its crap

Abaxiel
Abaxiel

not surprised. shows how dedicated to gaming these jokes of developers, are.

Djungelurban
Djungelurban

So... How did actually Activision get this huge. Was it all because of Tony hawk? Cause as far as I can recall, most of the 90's, basically everything that Activision released was more or less made of suck in a big way. Maybe not exclusively but atleast 90%. So how did they all of a sudden get huge? I know I know, they've been like this for a long time now, but I was just not paying attention on that they ever rose from bottom of the barrel... So when DID that happen? And yeah, I don't care about Activision, the only Activision game I own is Tenchu for PS2 and I'm just moderately interested in Blizzard in general, but seeing as they don't seem to be making a new Lost Vikings anytime soon... And either way, E3's dead already, who really cares. It was dead last year even...

Settler87
Settler87

Activision is my favorite publisher and sadly it will not participating in E3 anymore, because when you see the shows of the COD series there your life will be definitely go in one way ... may be Activision addiction! :)

Paulf001
Paulf001

Not like they need E3 when most of their money comes from WoW subscriptions.

IamDuhman
IamDuhman

hey, wwII is much better than the modern setting. if you played cod3 with war mode on meville, you would aghree. that was the best time ive ever had on a video game. the battles were just so, epic. and the kar98 sucks ass, lol. the m1 garand is where it's at

julianwelton
julianwelton

Yeah it sucks that they removed the public, but I still cant wait for E3 just think how much Gear 2 info we'll get.

SrTVBR
SrTVBR

E3 is having terrible times lately.

Nintendo_Ownes7
Nintendo_Ownes7

Sorry CoD5 is going back to WWII because the company that is making it doesn't know what Infinity Ward is planning to do in the Modern Setting so if you want it modern skip CoD5 and wait for CoD6 because that is when Infinity Ward is making it again and they will make it modern again. Also my favorite weopon from War games is the German Kar98k so I can't wait to go back to WWII so I can use that gun again, but I wish they would have it so I can use it in a Modern Setting.

Karmacodelc18
Karmacodelc18

I really hope COD5 stays modern I refuse to go back to WW2 and use those outdated dinosaur weapons...I refuse to rely on a German Panzershreck to take tanks out im spoiled on Javelin Missiles. Modern weapons are pwnage

matte989
matte989

I used to be excited about E3. Now I could care less(I'm referring to the changes that were made, not just the above article of Activision/Vivendi pulling out). It's really not worth it for companies to attend anymore in my opinion from a consumer standpoint. Way to turn E3 into something as exciting as Bill Gates explaining the next version of Windows.

Mych53
Mych53

I am saddened by what E3 has become. By removing the public, they really killed themselves. E3 is and was about generating buzz for your upcoming games. It used to be about letting the public in there so they could try out your upcoming games. This generated a lot of word of mouth publicity. Now it is just the press. It makes more sense for a publisher to have a press release than attend E3. That way they don't have to compete as much for attention. I am worried about Activision's decision to leave the ESA. I believe that this is purely a financial decision, and they are abusing their position in the industry. The ESA is still going to represent the interests of the video game industry, and Activision is going to benefit from that without paying the cost.

nate1222
nate1222

I agree that not letting in the public was a bad idea on ESA's part. But the chief reason that the "BIG publishers" (read:EA, Activision,etc...) aren't showing up is because E3 is NO LONGER A VEGAS LIGHTS SHOW WHERE SPECTACLE OVER-SHADOWS THE GAMES. For years, E3 has had big companies steal attention from smaller companies (with better ideas) via hooplah. Now companies have smaller booths and get a fairly equal amount of time and attention to explain their product. A smaller dev might actually get a warmer review. Thus the "BIG names" are throwing a temper tantrum. Well, "wa-wa-wa", ********s!

horror_spooky
horror_spooky

E3 is my favorite time of year. After E3, the video game magazines and websites are chalk-full of previews of some awesome games. And every year there is usually one really stand-out title and I can't wait to see what's going to make jaws drop this year. As for Activision pulling out I would really have loved to see some new Guitar Hero stuff as well as some new Tony Hawk information. Since Blizzard is a part of Vivendi, I think a lot of WoW fans are going to be seriously pissed off with the lack of information, unless Activision/Vivendi decide to give a little press conference to make up for not being at E3 or something. I don't play WoW myself, but I know a lot of my friends will be extremely ticked off.

snakes2solid
snakes2solid

if they have nothing to show that's fine..but i'd prefer most companies to show what they're working on so we "fans" can get excited for the years to come!

cooldude03
cooldude03

It makes sense to me. Why should they spend money on an E3 booth if they have nothing to show? It's like throwing money away. Beside Blizzard is triing to be hush hush on their new game, E3 would be to earily in developement to show us anything exciting. Besides the only thing that's Activision has to show is the totally new reworked Tony Hawk. I like TH but they've been showing the totally new rebuilt from the ground up Tony Hawk around ten years. Anyway with a merger that big they are not going to disappoint fans. There is just way to much money on the line. Anyway with Blizzards following don't the have their own convention by now? As far as ESA goes any company that's not for the ESA doesn't care about the gaming communities freedoms. I bet this is either a big publicity stunt or During the merger they lost their renewal forms.

afontanm
afontanm

They probably don't have a show set up for after the merging, which will only finish near E3. Besides, they don't need E3 after this announcement. Everyone will be so crazy paying attention to what they may have that makes them independent on E3, that they will have all the publicity they could have ever asked for.

WilleZz
WilleZz

an E3 without Blizzard would suck three pares of hovering and occasionally glowing red-fiery mustard-stained smurf balls. Good thing bethesda will be showing up though, even though they wheren't on the list they say they will attend.

GSVale
GSVale

What a dumb thing to do. Especially with elections coming up and so many politicians trying to get lazy, stupid, finger pointing parents' attention. Really a bad time to start this childish nonsense with the ESA who's protected you for so long. Can guarantee some wannabe congressman is going to jump all over this story to downplay the ESRB.

F4ll3n_1
F4ll3n_1

What this tells me is that Activision and Vivendi now see themselves as so big, that they don't feel they need E3 or the trade group.

lanista
lanista

Seems my last post drew a negative response, presumably from people who have had the luxury of going to E3 in their country But as this topic was posted by someone from Gamespot UK, I feel I have a right to state my opinion Perhaps E3 should be rotated between countries

MetalContra
MetalContra

E3 is not the spectacle it used to be. Activision Vivendi can preview their content via the web and other media outlets.

pourya_ahmadian
pourya_ahmadian

i think that the activision has no thing to show us then they will not take part to E3;but why?i do not know;they have COD5 and others;they are great;"we decided to do this for business"do you belive that?everyone more and more money;why they make games?because of money and business;then they say to us"we are pure and want no more money";oh yah;that is right;

galduke
galduke

I'm gonna call internal politics on this one. Someone pissed someone off way up high, and the response was "Oh yeah?", and thus we have the current non-sensual situation. Suitionchangshoawashipersh, I liked saying the last two words.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Hmmm... could bite them in the a**. Seems like they want the advantages that the lobbying of the ESA brings but without having to take part. Also re. E3 - do they realise that gamers follow that show very closely - even after they downsized it. It's a great way to create hype for your game and the most opportune moment to release a trailer or make a game announcement. Even if they are pulling out of ESA, why the absence from E3? Doesn't make a lot of sense...

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Whoa. Those are two huge companies with many other sub-companies that won't be attending!!