After five long years, Activision Blizzard has rejoined the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The ESA is responsible for E3 and representing the video game industry in Washington, D.C., so it's good to see Activision come back into the fold. Tencent also announced it was joining the ESA, so the member count is now up to 37, with the the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Nintendo of America, and Microsoft counted among them.
Activision initially left the ESA in May of 2008 for "business reasons," to which EA had some harsh words for. Now, however, things change, with Activision Blizzard being "excited" to rejoin and the company's chief legal officier Chris Walther saying the following:
ESA has a long track-record of supporting its members and the video game industry, and we look forward to sharing our unique perspective and experience with them.
As for Tencent, the Chinese company owns a majority stake in Riot Games, creator of League of Legends, and a 40% stake in Epic Games, along with two employee's on Epic's board of directors. Tencent's Gordon Bellamy, director of business development and industry relations, issued the following statement about the company joining the ESA:
ESA supports and cultivates collaboration among member companies. We are excited to join an association that promotes the development of the U.S. game industry as we are exploring more opportunities in this market.
It's nice to see Tencent taking an even more active role in the video game industry, and it's curious that Activision has now decided to rejoin the ESA. The company was kind of brief on why it initially left the ESA, but hopefully it's a little more forthcoming on why it came back. Whatever the case may be, the ESA is looking nice and strong once again.