Whenever we mention the letters "ESA" around here, I see most people whining on about how E3 isn't what it used to be. Great, it's not. We're all upset. But organising E3 isn't the only thing the ESA do. Most of the time, they're lobbying politicians. Meeting, greeting, contributing financially, that kind of thing. And they do a lot of it. For example, CNN have found that for the first quarter of 2008, the ESA spent $714,000 lobbying Washington, on issues like piracy, IP protection, fighting anti-gaming legislation, that kind of thing. If you've ever wondered where all that money publishers pay to be a part of the group goes, that's where it goes. Whether it does anything or not, well, that's another matter for another day.

Video game makers spent $714K to lobby in 1Q [CNN, via Ars Technica] [Pic]