ESA prez skipping prE3 address

Recently appointed trade group head Michael Gallagher opts out of annual recap speech, but plans to pick up the torch next year.

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Chalk up another change to this year's revamped Electronic Entertainment Expo. In addition to being drastically downscaled in attendance and moved to July, the show will not feature the traditional State of the Union-style presentation from the president of the Entertainment Software Association.

In previous years, then-ESA president Douglas Lowenstein kicked off the E3 conference program with a speech recapping the game industry's development for the prior year, and looking ahead to what the trade group felt needed to continue that growth. However, this year's show lacks two key parts of that formula: Lowenstein left the organization earlier this year for a position with the Private Equity Council, and the conference program was one of the casualties of the show's streamlining process.

While Lowenstein left the organization in February, his successor, Mike Gallagher, was only named last month. As a result, while Gallagher is filling Lowenstein's shoes at the ESA, he will not be filling his role at the podium come next month's E3 Media & Business Summit.

A representative with the ESA confirmed for GameSpot, "The decision...not to give a state of the industry speech was based on the extremely tight schedule of the new event, as well as that he so recently joined the ESA."

The representative did say current plans will have Gallagher giving such an address at next year's E3. As for this year, the E3 Media & Business Summit will run May 11-13 in Santa Monica, California.

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