Representatives from the soon-to-merge Activision and Vivendi Games have announced that the company will not be attending the E3 2008 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles this July - with subsequent confirmation that the duo has left the ESA altogether.
An ESA representative confirmed to Gamasutra that the two companies were no longer with the organization, with communications senior VP Rich Taylor adding in a statement, "While the Entertainment Software Association remains the preeminent voice for U.S. computer and video game publishers, we can confirm that Activision and Vivendi Games opted to discontinue their membership."
He continued, "The ESA remains dedicated to advancing our industry’s objectives such as protecting intellectual property, preserving First Amendment rights, and fostering a beneficial environment for the entire industry. Our high level of service and value to members and the larger industry remains unchanged."
The news follows earlier reports from consumer website Game Nexus that an Activision representative had said: "After careful consideration, for business reasons Activision has decided not to participate in any official E3 activities. We wish the ESA best of luck with the show."
Activision will apparently instead be hosting their own press event on the first night of the E3 event, with various other press events also likely during the week of the show – including the traditional annual media briefings from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
Following criticism that E3 2007 was spread out over too many different locations, the 2008 event will once again take place in the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). However, summit organizers at the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) have insisted that the nature of the event will be much lower key than in previous years.
Although it attracted prominent worldwide news coverage the E3 expo was significantly downsized following the 2006 event – after a number of publishers and console manufacturers complained about the rising cost of stands and the venue’s increasing unsuitability for business meetings and discussions.