We are the ESA

The Entertainment Software Association serves as the voice and advocate for the video game industry. Our mission is to expand and protect the dynamic worldwide marketplace for video games.

Who we are

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is where the major players of the video game industry work together to support the bright future of video games.

The video game industry is one of America’s fastest growing industries. With that growth comes an increasingly complex environment in which the ESA helps its members navigate a maze of laws and regulations. The ESA has an unmatched track record in protecting the industry’s First Amendment rights at both the federal and state levels. Our Legal, Regulatory & Policy and Government Affairs departments provide key information, smart advocacy, and collaboration opportunities through a strong reputation and contacts. Working with Congress and the Administration, the ESA advocates for robust intellectual property protection and enforcement measures; standards that enable free cross-border data flows and the reduction of barriers to digital trade and services. The ESA provides information and communications support that helps members promote the industry, their products, and games’ positive impact on society.

We are the video game industry, reimagining entertainment for billions of players around the world. We deliver dynamic interactive experiences that challenge the boundaries of storytelling, competition, and social interaction.

Together, we work to expand the frontiers of what is possible in entertainment.


Stanley Pierre-Louis

President and CEO

Christianna Barnhart

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs

Aubrey Quinn

Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs

Gina Vetere

Senior Vice President, General Counsel

About our membership

The ESA works to ensure that the video game community can innovate and achieve its goals. We provide our members with expert insights into the legal, policy, and public affairs matters that affect interactive entertainment.

We serve our members by protecting and expanding the frontiers of our industry; providing world-class guidance on policy, government relations, and communications; convening industry leaders to solve problems together; arranging opportunities to learn and network; and showcasing the positive economic and social contributions of video games.


LeaderShip and Expert Analysis

Our work on federal, state, and local matters is shaped by the issues that impact our members most. We partner with our members to set our priorities and lead the video game industry forward.

Exclusive E3 Discounts and Early Access

E3 is the best place for entertainment software companies to show groundbreaking new games and technologies and never-before-seen products to industry professionals, investors, media, influential insiders, and players. Only our members get discounts and early selection on booths and meeting spaces, early selection of hotel locations, and early access to the E3 press list.

Access to Proprietary Research

Our members receive access to a wide variety of research outputs, from our annual consumer report to more focused projects on topics such as console and PC players, video game use, streaming, and emerging technologies. Members are also active participants in our research efforts and help to drive the association’s research agenda.

IP Protection and Security

We value the creative talent of our members and work diligently to safeguard the hard work they put into delivering one-of-a-kind interactive experiences through our online protection efforts.

Philanthropic Partnerships

The ESA Foundation awards scholarships to aspiring women and minority video game creators, encourages inclusivity in our industry and other STEM fields, and supports schools and organizations using video games to improve the lives of America’s youth. Our members have opportunities to support our foundation and work with its partners across the country.

Working Groups

ESA members have access to over a dozen working groups that help set the organization’s priorities.


What is the ESA?

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the trade association for the video game industry in the United States.  Trade associations are founded and funded by businesses operating in a specific industry, with the goal of expanding, protecting, and advocating for the industry in question. The ESA was founded in 1994 by video game companies that recognized the need for both a dedicated trade body and a dedicated trade show (E3).  Founding members of the ESA included Sony Interactive Entertainment, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, and others.

The ESA has been on the front lines since then, protecting and defending the ability of video game publishers and developers to make their awesome games, helping them reach generations of passionate fans, and informing the public about the great work that the industry does to advance art, technology, job growth, and the future of storytelling.

What companies can join the ESA?

The ESA is a trade association, which means that our members are companies; the ESA does not offer membership to individuals.

To join the ESA, your company must, among other things:

  1. Make video games, or software used primarily to make video games
  2. Have a significant presence in the United States

The ESA is funded entirely by our members.  We do not accept money from third-party companies in exchange for advertising opportunities. In other words, we don’t accept companies that just want to sell our members stuff!

The ESA has been on the front lines since then, protecting and defending the ability of video game publishers and developers to make their awesome games, helping them reach generations of passionate fans, and informing the public about the great work that the industry does to advance art, technology, job growth, and the future of storytelling.

Before I join, what are the ESA’s policy positions?

We work at the direction of our members to craft our policy positions.  Our goal — to protect and expand the frontiers of the video game industry in the US — operates at the center of all that we do.  To learn more about our specific policy positions, look here.

How do I join? What does it cost?

Joining is easy — just email [email protected] to get started. Include the name of your company and where in the US you are located. When it comes to cost, membership dues are determined by your company’s North American revenue, and dues bands are set by ESA’s Board of Directors. 

I want to go to E3, how do I get in?

Information on E3 can be found here.

Sounds cool -- why should my company join?

For a detailed description of membership benefits, check out our brochure. But in brief, members that join the ESA are teaming up with the best advocate for the US video game industry.

Members get access to the following as soon as they join:

  • E3 Discount(s), and early access to hotels and press lists
  • Over 2 dozen working groups focused on your industry’s key issues
  • ESA’s content protection services
  • Research archives and ongoing research efforts
  • Members-only events for policy, networking, etc.

Most importantly, membership gets you a seat at the table.  The ESA routinely convenes the US game industry to tackle our most pressing issues: potentially harmful or unfair legislation, overzealous regulation, conflicts over business models, concerns about game over use, First Amendment/content issues, and more.  ESA members protect their own interests by being part of the conversation.

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505 Games
Activision | Blizzard
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Disney Interactive Studios
EPIC Games
Nintendo of America
Six Foot
Square Enix
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Join Our team

Want to work in one of the world’s most exciting and innovative industries?

We’re a close-knit team of creative, diverse, and driven professionals working together to advocate for the video game industry. We love what we do. Our work at the ESA is meaningful because we’re genuinely passionate about video games and all they represent.

The ESA offers competitive salaries, a robust benefits package, and the coolest office in D.C. We also have unique perks and career development opportunities. What more could you ask for?

If you end up joining us, just remember one thing: we take Halloween very seriously.

The ESA is currently accepting applications for the following position:

The ESA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any of its employment actions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, veterans status, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

General Inquiry

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