Last month, the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Video Software Dealers Association announced that they were merging operations and would unveil their new outfit's name at a later date.
That date appears to be today, as the nonprofit trade organization introduced itself as the Entertainment Merchants Association and established its new Web site. While the site is still under construction, it does include basic information on the group's goals and history, as well as information about its officers and board of directors.
The new group boasts that it represents more than 1,000 companies around the world and more than 20,000 retail outlets in the US alone. Its mission, according to the site, is "to promote, protect, and provide a forum for the common business interests of those engaged in the sale, rental, and licensed reproduction of entertainment software such as motion pictures, video games, and sound recordings."
The merger brings together two groups that found themselves with increasingly common interests in recent years. The IEMA was founded in 1997 as a nonprofit group to represent retailers that sell games, peripherals, and other multimedia entertainment, while the VSDA dates back to 1981 and has been the primary industry group for video-rental chains--most of which also rent games.