The ESA Wants You to Register for E3 (and Forget About That Pesky 2019 Data Leak)

The Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, released a blog post this morning to set the table for E3 season. It’s a brief statement, designed explicitly to quiet the voices from around the industry saying that the Electronic Entertainment Expo is breathing its last breaths. Not so, say the ESA!

First of all, the ESA is partnering with iam8bit (whom they refer to as “tastemakers”) to “reinvigorate the show and, frankly…shake things up.” There aren’t additional details about what that means exactly, but they are apparently “well down the path” to creating a floor experience that “celebrates gaming culture in exciting new ways.” The ESA did however hint that the plans involve a streaming and digital programming suite to deliver news directly from the source. E3 has struggled to maintain its hold as a premier source of information for major games news when Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube all exist to deliver the same information for free.

Shaking things up feels like a needed step when heavy hitters like Sony have already announced their plans to skip the event like they did the year before. The ESA released a statement similar to this one at the time of Sony’s announcement, reiterating their view that E3 is “a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world.” Most folks still expect Microsoft to factor into E3 2020 with more details about the Xbox Series X and Nintendo to run a digital Direct presentation during the week as they have the past few years.

The post went into ways you can provide suggestions to the ESA for their E3 plans (I can think of one suggestion off the top of my head), but the main event was this snippet about last year’s event.

You should also know that we’ve upgraded our media registration process, which received a lot of attention this past summer.  Earning back your trust and support is our top priority.”

ESA from E3 2020: A Sneak Peek At the Year Ahead

This is obviously alluding to the massive leak from August 2019 when the ESA published a spreadsheet of over 2,000 entries of contact information from attendees of the show publicly through their website. This included journalists, writers, editors, content creators, and producers from many different outlets. Often, this contact information included personal addresses. The leak is very specifically the aspect of 2019’s E3 that received “a lot of attention this past summer.” The post goes on to say that they’ve rebuilt the E3 website with better security and consultation from an outside cybersecurity firm. One would hope “don’t post a spreadsheet of sensitive information to a public website” is the first priority of this unnamed consulting firm.

Confirmation that the E3 2020 online registration process will no longer involve storing sensitive personal information on the website is welcome, though it remains to be seen how minimal the necessary information to register will be. We will all find out together, I guess, on February 15 when E3 2020 registration begins. Have your dummy addresses ready to go!