Game over for ESA president


WASHINGTON -- Longtime Entertainment Software Assn. president Doug Lowenstein plans to step down early next year to launch a trade association in the investment industry, ESA said Tuesday.

"I have been honored to represent the amazing companies of the ESA, to serve as their advocate and to be part of an industry that is having such a profound and positive effect on our culture and the world of entertainment," Lowenstein said. "Like our industry, the ESA has grown and matured and is now stronger and more robust than ever before. The future of video games and its trade association is very bright indeed."

Lowenstein joined what was then known as the Interactive Digital Software Assn. in 1994. The name of the organization was changed in 2003 to the Entertainment Software Assn. to more accurately describe the industry that ESA represents.

During Lowenstein's tenure, industry revenue jumped from $3 billion to more than $10 billion. The ESA grew from two employees at launch to 32 employees working on a range of programs, from anti-piracy enforcement and domestic and international intellectual property policy to government and media relations and research.

"Doug built ESA into a very effective and influential trade association fully and articulately representing the interests of our members," ESA chairman and Microsoft entertainment president Robbie Bach said. "He leaves behind a tremendous record of accomplishments that provides us with the foundation for continued growth and success. We wish him well in his new role."

The ESA said it would begin a search for a replacement immediately.