Entertainment Software Association

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Entertainment Software Association
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Type: Trade Association Group
Leader: Michael D. Gallagher

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the trade association of the video game industry in the United States. It was formed in April 1994 as the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) and renamed on July 16, 2003. It is based in Washington, D.C..[1][2]

Critical of Gamer Gate


Supported SOPA/PIPA

In 2012, frustrated by the Entertainment Software Association‘s support of the proposed anti-piracy SOPA and PIPA legislation, Mark Kern founded the League For Gamers (L4G), which intends to advocate for gamers' interests.

Sales report conflict

In 2012 the ESA published reports indicating that total PC sales had dropped nearly in half during the 2009-2011 period.[4] However, according to reports published by market research firm DFC Intelligence in 2014, by 2013 the PC game sales had surpassed console sales.[5]

Dying Light DMCA notices

In January 2015, the ESA issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices to take down mod files for Dying Light, an Open-world First Person Shooter Zombie Survival game which were shared online. The DMCA takedown request for one of the mods, a purely cosmetic mod meant to disable the game's Film Grain effect, was documented by Reddit user /u/drogean2.[6]

The take-downs coincided with the release of a patch from Dying Light developer Techland which supposedly was meant to "block cheating [in the game's online PvP "Be the Zombie" mode] by changing game’s data files.", but according to reports on reddit and elsewhere, additionally prevented modders from making changes to weapons and items in the single-player campaign. It has been speculated that "ESA member and Dying Light publisher Warner Bros. was going overboard in using the DMCA in order to stop any online distribution of mod files" on top of the patch's technical fix.

The ESA has denied such claims. Techland has stated that they wouldn't try to harm the modding community after it helped make their other game, Dead Island a success. [7]


Read more at the EFF article on the subject

In 2015, the ESA advocated against the archival process of video games, deeming it “hacking,” and that all hacking is “associated with piracy.” The EFF is fighting the notion, asking for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions (Section 1201) for those who modify games to keep them working after the servers they need are shut down. The ESA claims that modifying games to connect to a new server (or to avoid contacting a server at all) after publisher support ends—letting people continue to play the games they paid for—will destroy the video game industry. They say it would “undermine the fundamental copyright principles on which our copyright laws are based.”