The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) gave a new look last year to its E3 trade show, which in years past had ballooned to rock concert-like proportions. Moved from the LA Convention Center to hotels in Santa Monica, the show scaled down in size and scope in an attempt to bring it back to its business-like roots. E3 2008 is headed back to the LA Convention Center, though still on a smaller scale, but it appears the ESA will be without two of its largest publishers.
Tonight, Activision and Vivendi/Sierra decided to withdraw from the ESA altogether and, by extension, not attend E3 2008. This decision means that both companies (eventually “the company,” once their merger is approved) will need to rely on private events, not an invitation-only trade show, to promote and display their PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and PC games.
“While the Entertainment Software Association remains the preeminent voice for U.S. computer and videogame publishers, we can confirm that Activision and Vivendi Games opted to discontinue their membership,” ESA senior VP Rich Taylor said in a statement.
None of the parties involved cited Activision and Vivendi’s reason for leaving the ESA, although it’s likely due at least in part to the potential for the uber-company to owe millions in fees for its ESA membership and E3 participation.
DailyGame has already confirmed its upcoming attendance at E3 2008, but with these two companies not scheduled to attend, we will do our best to cover Activision’s and Vivendi’s games via stand-alone events organized by the publishers.