The Entertainment Software Association increased its membership fees by 1,700% during the last two years of downsized E3s
(2007-2008), apparently to compensate for revenue that the old E3 used to bring in. Gamespot
discovered the shocking percentage while digging through the lobbying group's annual accounting to the IRS. The massive fee increase may have a little something to do with why Activision
decided to leave the organization.
We contacted the ESA
to find out if this year's rebirth
of the "classic
" E3 format would reduce membership fees. CEO Michael Gallagher wrote us: "The positive restructuring of the E3 Expo allowed us to revisit the ESA's dues structure. It is our hope that this new model will make the ESA an attractive and accessible option for small and mid-sized publishers so we can more fully represent our industry's diversity." So, we'll take that as a "yes." Now we wait to see if the reduction brings back the companies that left and, just possibly, welcomes new publishers to the flock.