Jeff Brown, the vice president of Electronic Arts, has criticized Activision and Vivendi's decision to leave the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), as well as the companies' choice to withdraw from E3.
According to Brown, Activision and Vivendi's decision to leave the ESA "reflects an unfortunate lack of leadership." He further added that this act isn't a very responsible thing to do given their status in the gaming industry:
They're a big company and we feel that when you're a big company you've got a responsibility to consumers to work on policy issues which are very, very important to consumers. And the best way to do that is with an industry consensus. That's the way it's been done with the ESA in the US, and with ELSPA in the UK.
He further added that the system the ESA is using may not be perfect as there are still disagreements within the circle of developers who are still a part of it. However, he believes that it does work:
There's always tensions inside these organisations, but for the most part it works. So it was sad to see them step away from that responsibility. We hope that others don't do that, but I think that the onus is on the ESA to prove that membership in it is good for the company and good for consumers. And I think we're going to see the ESA redouble its efforts to prove that.
Finally, Brown reaffirmed their commitment to the ESA and reassured everyone that this year's E3 will still be successful. To end, here's what he had to say about the issues in question:
EA is 100 per cent committed. There's Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, THQ, Disney, a bunch of others – and I assume all the others are still locked into it.
For that matter, Activision Vivendi is going to be doing an event of some description in Los Angeles at the same time, so there's still critical mass. Everyone's going to be in Los Angeles this summer and it's hard to imagine it isn't going to be a successful event.