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Crave Entertainment Leaves The ESA

| 23 Jun 2008 19:18
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The Entertainment Software Association has apparently taken another blow as sources are saying Crave Entertainment has left the group.

The company is still listed as a member on the ESA website, but an exclusive GamePolitics report claims "a knowledgeable source" has told the site about Crave's exit from the organization. Neither Crave nor the ESA have commented on the departure, although both have been contacted for statements. Despite the decision, the report says Crave still intends to make an appearance at E3 this year.

If confirmed, Crave will be the fifth member of the group to leave in recent weeks, following Activision, Vivendi, LucasArts and most recently, id Software. While lacking the high profile of the companies that have departed previously, Crave puts out a relatively high volume of games, focusing primarily on budget titles such as Brunswick Pro Bowling, World Championship Poker 2 and NRA Gun Club (pictured), which IGN described as "a bold move in exploring new depths of sheer worthlessness."

Despite the relative "small fry" status of Crave when compared to many of the ESA's other current and former members, the publisher's departure is a signal that the agency's troubles are far from over. While major companies like Activision might believe they have the stones to go it alone, lesser lights such as Crave are more in need of the protection of an industry group like the ESA. There are many possible reasons for stepping out from under that umbrella, but if serious questions have arisen regarding the ESA's ability to represent the interests of a lower-tier company like Crave, it could signal even rougher times ahead for the association.

Update: The ESA's Dan Hewitt has issued a statement on behalf of Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications and research, regarding Crave's departure.

"We can confirm that Crave has decided not to renew its membership in the ESA," the statement said. "We value each member of our association, but respect their decision. In conversations with Crave, representatives stated that they value their longstanding membership with the ESA and remain committed to the values and goals of the association."

Crave Entertainment has not yet commented on its reasons for leaving the ESA.

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