Entertainment Software Association
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the trade association of the video game industry in the United States. It was formed in April 1994 as the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) and renamed on July 16, 2003. It is based in Washington, D.C..
Most of the top publishers in the gaming world (or their American subsidiaries) are members of ESA, including Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft, Namco Bandai Games, Nintendo, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Enix, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
The ESA’s policy is based by member companies serving on the ESA’s three Working Groups:
- Intellectual Property Working Group
- Public Policy Committee
- Public Relations Working Group
Doug Lowenstein founded the ESA. On December 14, 2006, game blog Kotaku reported that he was resigning to take a job in finance outside the industry. On May 17, 2007, Mike Gallagher replaced Doug Lowenstein as the president of ESA.
On August 18, 2007, it was discovered that someone from an IP address belonging to the ESA modified the modchip and abandonware articles in Wikipedia, by changing article content to represent legal opinions held by the ESA.
On May 28, 2013 DRM Expert, Edward Heldman III,. on his Tech Rech Blog published an article addressing all current ESA members, asking "Is the ESA just taking your money or truly protecting your IP?". The article raises new legal questions exposing loop-holes and the incompetence being used. .
Controversial Support for SOPA and PIPA
In 2012, frustrated by the Entertainment Software Association‘s support of the proposed anti-piracy SOPA and PIPA legislation, Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern founded the League For Gamers (LFG), which intends to advocate for developers’ and gamers’ rights and give them a voice in Washington.    
To effectively combat this, users of the Bit Torrent client are able to thwart the ESA by using a number of IP hiding methods, including VPN, PeerBlock and Proxy servers.  Websites however have a much more difficult time and have to resort from moving around or getting hosted in countries that do not honor WIPO.
The ESA has also been known to lobby congress in order to get laws passed that benefit the industry's copyright protection. According to a Bloomberg report, The Entertainment Software Association spent around $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2011 on lobbying efforts in Washington D.C.   
List of ESA members and their subsidiaries
Members are listed as displayed on the official website of the ESA and is current as of May 30, 2013.
- 345 Games
- 505 Games
- Deep Silver
- Disney Interactive Studios
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games
- gloops International Inc.
- GREE International, Inc.
- Little Orbit
- Mad Catz Interactive, Inc.
- Namco Bandai Games
- NetDragon Websoft Inc.
- Nexon America, Inc.
- Nival America
- Perfect World Entertainment
- Rubicon Organization
- Sony Computer Entertainment
- Sony Online Entertainment
- Square Enix
- Take-Two Interactive
- Tecmo Koei America Corporation
- Trion Worlds, Inc.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Xseed Games
- Illinois Ordered to Pay ESA Half Million by Daemon Hatfield, IGN Entertainment, 2006-08-10
- Rumor:ESA President is Quitting by Brian Crecente, Kotaku, 2006-12-14
- ESA selects new president by Brendan Sinclair, GameSpot, 2007-05-17
- ESA Altered Wikipedia Entries on Mod Chips, Abandonware GamePolitics, 2007-08-18
- LinkedIn Edward
- Tech Rech The ESA Enforcement: Technical and legal incompetence Exposed!
- microvcclub.com SOPA controversy creates rival to game industry group ESA; LFG aims to be “the NRA for gamers"
- allvoices.com SOPA controversy creates rival to game industry group ESA; LFG aims to be “the NRA for gamers”
- venturebeat.com SOPA controversy creates rival to game industry group ESA; LFG aims to be “the NRA for gamers”
- leagueforgamers.org Official LFG Website/
- Chillingeffects DMCA ISP Notific
- Slashdot ESA Following RIAA?
- How-To Geek Protecting Your Privacy
- TechSpot Managing your Privacy Online
- GamePolitics ESA Spent $1.1 Million in Q1 for Lobbying
- TGDaily ESA spent $1.1M on lobbying fees
- Gamasutra ESA Spent Record $4.2 Million Lobbying In 2008
- The ESA Members Official Website
- Breaking: Activision and Vivendi discontinue ESA membership - Joystiq
- Breaking: LucasArts leaves the ESA [update] - Joystiq
- BREAKING: id Software Leaves ESA | GamePolitics
- Is Codemasters the Latest Publisher to Bail on the ESA? | GamePolitics