id bids ESA adieu

Doom maker confirms it has left E3 show runners and gaming-industry trade body, following long-standing publisher Activision, Vivendi, and LucasArts.

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More ill tidings today for the runners of the E3 Media & Business Summit. GameSpot has confirmed with id Software that it will not be renewing its membership with gaming-industry representative body the Entertainment Software Association. Following initial confusion over id's E3 presence, the ESA revealed earlier this week by omission that id Software had yet to sign on to this year's show, which runs July 15-17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Earlier this month, longtime id Software publisher Activision and its soon-to-be-merged partner Vivendi Games initiated the ESA exodus by revealing that they would not be renewing their membership dues and had no intention of attending this year's show. Activision Blizzard was then followed out the door by LucasArts, though the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed publisher said that it still plans on attending the ESA's annual gaming exhibition.

Speculation over what has inspired the growing unrest over the ESA reached a fever pitch earlier this week when it was revealed through tax documents that the lobbying group had paid nearly $5.4 million in event-cancellation fees to move E3 from LA to Santa Monica in 2007. The IRS filing also indicated that ESA membership fees had spiked from about $1 million in 2006 to roughly $4.5 million in 2007 as a result of the dramatic downscaling of its revenue-generating trade show.

The ESA had not responded to requests for comment concerning id's departure as of press time.

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