ESA Honors Texas Governor Rick Perry for Supporting The Video Games Industry

ESA Honors Texas Governor Rick Perry for Supporting The Video Games Industry

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today presented Texas Gov. Rick Perry (and former Republican presidential candidate) an award for his efforts to create jobs, provide tax incentives and generally foster the growth of the computer and video game industry in the state. ESA president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher presented the award to the Governor and praised him for his “longstanding support for the industry” during an award ceremony at the historic Governor’s Mansion. The event included members from the video games industry, business leaders, and state officials.

“Governor Perry has been a true champion for Texas and for our industry,” said Mr. Gallagher. “At E3 in 2008, he made a personal pitch for computer and video game companies to come to Texas. Since then, he has dedicated his passion and energy to building the state’s global reputation as an innovation incubator and economic powerhouse, known for its creative community and cutting-edge businesses.”

Gov. Perry worked with the Texas Legislature to implement and later improve the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which created a business friendly environment for computer and video game companies. The Texas Film Commission says that the video games industry invested $643.5 million in in-state productions between 2006 and 2009. The industry also created more full time jobs than any other moving image entertainment sector from 2007 to 2009, employing nearly 14,000 direct and indirect workers in 2009 and adding more than $490 million to the state economy.

E3 still vital to industry, says ESA

Trade group exec says attendees overwhelmingly pleased with the show, confirms it will return to LACC through 2016


For Rich Taylor, there’s been at least one constant throughout all the turmoil the gaming industry has faced in recent years. As the Entertainment Software Association senior vice president of communications and industry affairs explained to GamesIndustry International, that steadfast rock of certainty has been that people will question whether the Electronic Entertainment Expo is still relevant.

“It’s interesting. I’ve been at ESA now for six years, and that question has come up pretty much every year,” Taylor said. “I think the show answers the question itself both through the level of attendance and participation, from the news that comes out of it, and it remains extraordinarily… not just relevant, but vital to the industry, and vital to those who want to share news through the billions of impressions that come out of it. When we convene this show, all the attendant eyeballs and ears are pointed toward Los Angeles to see the news that comes out.”

“I think people really are fairly thrilled about what we have now and the model we have now, the size we have now, the timing we have now”

Rich Taylor

Despite the questions from industry watchers, Taylor said the E3 feedback from attendees, exhibitors, and ESA member companies hasn’t reflected those concerns.

“Right now, the overwhelming finding is where we are now is a really positive sweet spot,” Taylor said. “Folks feel good about the room they have for their exhibit space, meeting room options, the number of attendees is still large enough to get all the principal folks that people hope to encounter during the show into the LACC, but also not so overwhelming that you can’t actually play and experience the games themselves, which is of course a key part of the show… I think people really are fairly thrilled about what we have now and the model we have now, the size we have now, the timing we have now. That seems to be where the model will sit for the foreseeable future.”

One part of the model that will stay the same is the show’s home, as the ESA has recently committed to running E3 out of the Los Angeles Convention Center through 2016. While there were concerns last year that construction of an NFL football stadium next to the LACC could limit the building’s available space for the show, Taylor said the plan for the stadium construction has encountered setbacks. Combined with assurances from the LACC and AEG to minimize any impact on E3, that means the possible new stadium is at this point “a bit of a non-issue” for E3, Taylor said.

While the general format of the show is set for the near future, Taylor said the ESA is still adapting to keep up with the changing industry, specifically the growing mobile market. In response to a cry for better coverage of that sector, Taylor said this year’s E3 will feature an Online Mobile Gaming Pavilion where gaming for handheld devices will have its own dedicated space, “perhaps more conducive to the experience of playing those games.”