Despite the fact that video game publishers aren’t outwardly supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) directly all of those companies are still members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The ESA has recently come under fire by consumers for their support of SOPA and many were hoping the organization would pull their support of the controversial bill. It now seems the ESA is doing the exact opposite.
The ESA is largely a lobby group that represents a large list of game companies. When you review the list it pretty much contains every game company you can think of with the exception of Activision. While individual game companies aren’t outwardly showing their support by listing themselves on the SOPA supporters list the ESA was willing to put their name down.
Originally it was thought that the ESA could be pressured both by consumers and by the companies they represent, into dropping their support of SOPA. Now it seems the ESA is willing to do no such thing. On Tuesday the ESA issued a statement to Joystiq demonstrating their support of the bill. The statement reads,
“As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. Rogue websites – those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy – restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs. Our industry needs effective remedies to address this specific problem, and we support the House and Senate proposals to achieve this objective. We are mindful of concerns raised about a negative impact on innovation. We look forward to working with the House and Senate, and all interested parties, to find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation.”
It’s unfortunate to see the ESA, and dozens of game companies by association, supporting this bill in its current form. I was personally hoping the organization would be pressured enough from both sides to drop support of a bill that so clearly flies in the face of free speech. Mommy’s Best Games (the company responsible for Serious Sam: Double D) is calling for ESA members to speak out against SOPA in the hopes of changing the organization’s stance on the matter.