It was announced this week that Entertainment Software Association president and founder Doug Lowenstein would be stepping down to start a new trade association in the investment industry. Lowenstein will to stay with the ESA until early 2007, to help transition the organization transition smoothly.
"I have been honored to represent the amazing companies of the ESA, to serve as their advocate and to be part of an industry which is having such a profound and positive effect on our culture and the world of entertainment,” said Lowenstein. “Like our industry, the ESA has grown and matured and is now stronger and more robust than ever before. The future of videogames and its trade association is very bright indeed."
Over a decade ago, Lowenstein joined the organization that at the time was named the Interactive Digital Software Association. After actively pushing the group to adopt the ESA name, he literally watched the industry grow, seeing revenues grow from around $3 billion to nearly $10 billion a year. Under Lowenstein, the ESA has grown from a mere public relations firm representing game publishers to the industry heavyweight organization it is today, handling everything from market research projects, to government relations and anti-piracy enforcement.
Lowenstein made headlines earlier this year when he gave a speech at the LA Games convention in which he commented that he felt the term “video games” was outdated and detrimental to the industry. Pointing out the rise of serious games and the fact that the industry has grown to become one of the hottest career fields in the world, Lowenstein told the near capacity crowd that the long-standing term keeps many people from taking the industry serious.
Upon receiving Lowenstein’s resignation, ESA Chairman Robbie Bach had nothing but praise and well wishes for the now former president. “As the founding president of this organization, Doug built ESA into a very effective and influential trade association fully and articulately representing the interests of our members. He leaves behind a tremendous record of accomplishments, which provides us with the foundation for continued growth and success. We wish him well in his new role."