ESA Drops SOPA Support

Stephen Totilo for Kotaku:

The Entertainment Software Association no longer supports the Stop Online Piracy Act, the controversial anti-piracy bill that was shelved earlier today in the House of Representatives after a week of fierce online protests.

The people who bring us E3 simply don’t want to bring us SOPA anymore. The bill’s got problems, they say.

Of course this only happens once the fight for these two pieces of legislation is essentially over (though Marco Arment is correct that a new one is always looming).

Penny-Arcade hit the weirdness of this right on the head. The ESA does good quite often, but in this case it was just plain wrong. One has to wonder if Red 5’s actions caused any other studios to threaten to take their E3 budgets elsewhere.

Red 5 and SOPA/PIPA

Dennis Scimeca for Ars Technica:

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for PC game developer Red 5 Studios. Not only has the studio blocked access to the beta of free-to-play open-world shooter Firefall for the day, but it also revealed last week that it is pulling out of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) showcase, which is run by the SOPA-supporting Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

Red 5 will also use the $50,000 it would have spent on a promotional E3 booth to start The League For Gamers, a grassroots group it calls “a gathering place for gamers, developers and industry supporters who want to stand against legislation that’s detrimental to the games industry.”

Read the rest, including an interview with CEO Mark Kern. The ESA, like many other industry associations, can be a good thing. But it can also be a bad thing when it claims to speak for all its member organizations.

It’s refreshing to see a developer standing up for this.