LucasArts exits ESA

Star Wars publisher says leaving gaming industry body but will attend this year's E3.

124 Comments

Questions concerning the future of the Electronic Entertainment Expo have swirled since show organizers the Entertainment Software Association decided to dramatically downscale the gaming industry's premier event in 2006. While the ESA has continued to trudge on with E3 amid debate over the show's relevance, this month saw a potentially debilitating blow struck to the organization when soon-to-be-merged publishers Activision and Vivendi said they would not be renewing their membership with the representative body nor attending its annual event.

Now, another leading gamemaker has decided to part ways with the ESA. GameSpot has confirmed with LucasArts that the all-things-Star Wars publisher will not be renewing its membership with the ESA, though the publisher still plans to attend this year's E3 Media and Business Summit at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 15-17.

"We can confirm that LucasArts is no longer a member of the ESA," said LucasArts public relations director Margaret Grohne. "As a company we are still committed to bringing consumers the best interactive experience possible and support the ESA's mission in the industry. LucasArts will be participating in E3."

The ESA was quick to issue a statement both acknowledging LucasArts' departure and painting a bright portrait of the organization's future.

"Since its creation in 1994, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has grown and evolved into the pre-eminent voice of the video and computer game industry," said ESA senior vice president of communications and research Rich Taylor. "The organization has 25 members, including three companies that were welcomed last year. Today, we can confirm that one of our members, LucasArts, has decided not to renew its membership. We value each member of our association, but respect the unique factors that led to LucasArts' decision. Last year was a record year for an industry which is becoming an increasingly important part of the nation's social, cultural and economic landscape. We are confident the industry will continue to thrive and ESA will continue to create a beneficial environment for the entire entertainment software industry."

In the wake of Activision and Vivendi's departure from the ESA, several other publishers and developers, including NCsoft and Foundation 9 said they would also be skipping out on this year's event. However, a number of other gamemakers, including Electronic Arts, Bethesda Softworks, Warner Bros. Interactive, Majesco, and D3Publisher, reaffirmed their commitment to the annual trade show. After having initially confirmed its attendance to GameSpot, id Software's appearance at this year's show remains in question.

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Avatar image for WizengamotX
WizengamotX

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to steffl3r - no.

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Steffl3r

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wait so does this mean Lucasarts stops making games altogether?

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nate1222

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As long as Lucas Arts and Pandemic release Mercenaries: World In Flames on PS2. That's all I'm actually looking at from their camp.

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Sokol4ever

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Interesting, they will have to do some changes to E3 in upcoming years.

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deactivated-5925dfb1d1fe6

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I support LucasArts, and like others have said, we could see a new organization be founded eventually independent from the ESA.

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henry4th

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Bravo, Lucas Arts. Why would companies even join these BS organizations that really offer nothing to the gaming companies? These organizations create yet another layer of bureaucracy, limit creativity and make games even more expensive (because it's another spending for these game companies). On top of that, it creates a bunch of jobs that create no value whatsoever to the society.

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cybergooch

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SnowfFarmer, that statement couldn't be further from the truth. The gaming industry needs lobbyists to protect its interest, namely creative and content rights. Because there are senators, congress people, and other elected officials voicing AGAINST gaming, now is as important time as ever to have a voice FOR gaming. The ESA is losing relevance because they have lost the faith of some developers and only a few have been brave enough to drop out. Look for a new organization to rise from the ashes to fight the good fight. Let's call it ESA 2.0...

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SnowFarmer

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I'm not sure why these companies are leaving the ESA, that seems a bit shortsighted, but it is clear why they are leaving E3. E3 is irrelevant. It is much more cost effective to have a few bloggers, buyers and press people come an event somewhere then to pay, setup and staff a booth at a huge trade show, where you have to compete for attention. It isn't just E3 but all trade shows are suffering the same fate, just look at CES. E3 won't exist by 2011, the ESA might survive either. The game industry does need a trade and lobbying group, and I am sure these companies see that as well. I think that they see the current ESA mission as misguided and split. They'd rather have a strong trade and lobbying group than one that wastes time, money and effort on E3. ESA might not exist for long, but there will be some sort of trade group for the industry in the future.

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stevo1000

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I really don't understand what they are doing to E3. They downsize it 2 years ago, but to what effect? I don't know what there trying to do to E3 here. Why didn't they just leave it as it was 3 years ago. Instead of these clowns pointlessly messing around with it.

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necronaux

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So why are they leaving? Something can't be worked out? It seems it would be best for the industry, if they all stuck together. When the government tries to impose unrealistic sanctions, there's safety in numbers.

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Koal_Jadian

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uh ohhh! You're done E3, It's only going down from here. It's useless anyways. The point of E3 was to generate positive press and excite for future game developments, etc. but by downscaling it and limiting it to boring dull shows and displays where only suits can attend, no on gives a sh**. You want game companies and people to care, bring it back to the BIG convention centres, let the PEOPLE see what you want them to get excited about and buy.

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Hvac0120

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The ESA provides a lot for the industry. Even if E3 goes away, I think it is important for people in the industry to show their support through memberships and/or donations to the organization. E3 may not serve a purpose any more. It is basically a small show for media and a behind-the-curtains meeting for networkers to make the deals that will determine the future of the games we play. What we get out of it is (A) the deals between publishers, developers, and investors (B) some news about some of the things we can expect over the next year or two from the major plays (who attend). I really like the press briefings that come before E3. Usually Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all have some sort of big news that comes out of these public briefings with one of them standing out among the others as the "star" of the show. Is any of this relevant any more? I'm not sure...

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Rect_Pola

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This is bad for E3. They really alienated people last year; enough to provoke them to put more into other shows, especially their own. With success there, they're figuring why jump through ESA's hoops? At this rate, E3 might be dead in less than 5 years. There will be other shows to pick up the slack, but the real losers are the small publishers who never got a fair stake of E3 action in the first place.

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Muppetguy21

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i think PAX will replace the old E3

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jmartin1016

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Open it to the public again. ESA.

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CornishRocker

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We should have a British E3, or an alternative to what we do have, because there aren't enough gaming expos in the UK. Besides, if there are some UK expos, they can't be that good, else we'd know more about them. As for Lucasarts leaving ESA, I'm not sure what to think, we can only wait for what the future brings.

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jonzilla_basic

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I used to E3!!!! Whats going on!!

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rgame1

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E3 needs to be big again. Either that or bring it to London so i can go

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Diernes

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Bring back the Booth babes, seriously... I dont see why they needed to change it in the first place.

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somberfox

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I really miss E3 as it used to be. E3 was a vital part of the industry, it kept us very informed of future games and technology on a wide scale and instilled a great deal of anticipation into gamers every year. In other words it put an incredible amount of vitality into gaming. Now it's just nothing but a marketing tool for the big name companies that has no real practical purpose.

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sacker63

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I love how everyone's just reiterating that E3 is a lost cause. Really original... g.a.l.

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VenomRitual

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wow. esa should count their losses and realize what a mistake they made.

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Evanrocknuma

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Damn all of the other expos that nobody gives a crap about! Bring back E3 thats the only one any normal gamer I knew really sat down to watch!

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PhantomPhoot

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Time to raise money for Tokyo. Their game show is still what E3 used to be, fun for the whole crew and not just the press. My dreams of E3 may be dead, but there are still other conventions worth attending.

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ChrisJukio

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Bye bye E3, it was good while it lasted.

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ZhugeMarc

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E3 is dying, and it's quite sad to watch it's death throes.

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EnriqueMJK

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I understand reasoning for downsizing the event. It was big, loud, expensive. It was too much flash, too much money. Showing off your game became less about the merit of the game but rather how much flash you had to attract people. Instead of downsizing it though, they transformed it. Why turn the biggest marketing oppurtunity of the year into a board meeting? Last E3 there were no suprises, nothing exciting. Sure we got movies and pics, etc. but there was literally nothing exciting to happen. E3 was at one point where big announcements were made, where buzz created the next big game, but last year there was nothing. It could have just been an industry fluke but that seems too coincidental.

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another_drew

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I never understood taking something that was like Christmas for gamers, and turning it into blue-collar bs. IT'S ENTERTAINMENT FOR GOD'S SAKE. Way to go "tard" things up and talk about sales and growth and all that crap no gamers really talk about. That's what board meetings are for jackasses. @ Orcsblade - Wow... I don't think you have even sat down and really played a lucasarts game. Lego Star Wars? Lego Indy? Kinda hard to say those games aren't crap, when one of them HASN'T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET!

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Gastman

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Lucasarts are still going to make game like Star Wars, and Indy but they won't be at E3 this year. ESA screw up E3 and I will bet you that E3 will be no more after four year from now.

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tsiper

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They are still making games they just left the ESA! Indy looks awesome and WOW Force unleashed Lucas will be a video game power house for years and years to come.

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tsiper

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i miss the old E3 I always looked forward to it now the new one just sucks!

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jbot666

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I miss the old E3

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anarchy69yoda

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I hope they make better games though

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prioritymail

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Thats what you get ESA! That for f-ing up E3

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DonnieDarko

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I want the old E3 back. It was something big and over the top and to look forward to - it made me excited about games.

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Rowr14

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There will still be virtually the same coverage of games. All the companies just privately show off their wares in the same week, in the same location. They are not going to stop showing off games just because of a weaken'd e3. Its not like there is a shortage of people showing off their games far far ahead of launch. I wouldnt mind so much if more companies took the rockstar approach, slowly lettiing more and more out just before the game releases. It sure would lead to less dissapointment on a lot of titles. aha funny comments. ZOMG lucasarts arent making games anymore! jesus christ people try and read the freaking articles and having some sort of clue what it means.

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Gamingcucumber

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If it was another expo such as Leipzig I wouldn't mind the downscaling so much, but the fact that the whole spactacle was exactly why E3 was so interesting it is really sad to see everyone jump ship.

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rbop

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I don't know about anyone else, but E3 time was always the most exciiting for me as a gamer... now, not so much.

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orcsblade

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LucasArts games are crap except lego star wars and lego indy

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Shomb22

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Finaly! About time they leave the game industry and move to the automotive industry. I seen this happining two or three years ago.;)

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Rardonc

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Calm down guys, Lucasarts will keep developing and publishing games, it's just that they will no longer be members of the ESA.

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D3ADMaggot911

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"Star Wars publisher says leaving gaming industry body but will attend this year's E3." So There Still Gonna Make Games After Force Unleashed or No?

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cayne_phoenix

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so no more Lucasarts games?! no more Monkey Island?!! Didnt the voodoo lady have a unbreakable five game contract with Lucasarts? what about Full Throttle 2, what happens to the Polecats?! or a sequal to Grim Fandango?

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scyth01

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I've always looked forward to every E3 and reading about developers leaving.. this sucks:-(

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teknicz

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It turns out I'm not going to be at E3 either! OMG!

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R3DN1N3

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And so the legend dies........but.....if u listen very carefully after the show has ended....u can hear the crackling of a lightsaber.......

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Sins-of-Mosin

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It's quite obvious that ESA isn't doing a good job of helping to promote the industry. Why waste money on them when you could probably do their job for half the cost.

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speedjunkie4

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I found that it was expected. Everybody seems to be leaving the E3 boat and either holding thier own conventition or going to TGS.

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Viral-venom13

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I agree with "thepyrethatburn"....well said and in many cases i believe you could be right!

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Mush_Mouth

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Anybody else wish LucasArts would re-release a collection of their classic games? I'm talking Full Throttle, The Dig, Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle - all of those old adventure games.

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