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SouthPeak climbs aboard ESA

X-Blades publisher signs on with E3-organizing game-industry trade body.


Last year, the Entertainment Software Association parted ways with a handful of its most high-profile members, including Activision, LucasArts, id Software, Crave, and NCsoft. One highly likely explanation for the mass defections surfaced last month, when accounting documents revealed that ESA membership dues spiked 1,600 percent from 2006 to 2008. The step could be seen as a necessary one, considering that the ESA pulled in a paltry $3.49 million for the dramatically downsized E3 2007, compared to the $18.46 million that it earned from the event a year prior.

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This year's E3 is set to rival the 2006 bonanza, and ESA president Michael Gallagher has since said that the organization's membership-dues structure has been revisited. It would appear as if the move is having a positive affect on the ESA's member count, given that the ESA confirmed today that SouthPeak Interactive has joined its ranks.

"Our industry needs a strong and active trade organization and we are pleased to support that effort," SouthPeak VP of marketing Richard Iggo said in a statement. "We look forward to participating in the many programs and opportunities provided by the ESA."

With the ESA calling SouthPeak "one of the nation's fastest-growing entertainment software companies," the game maker's most recent and notable game-industry contributions include X-Blades, Two Worlds, and the surprisingly lucrative My Baby line of casual DS games. In October, SouthPeak subsumed Gamecock Media Group, better known as one of the most vocal antagonists of E3's Santa Monica sojourn in 2007.

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