Games Industry Lobbyists Praised Trump, and No One Should Be Surprised


It doesn't matter if Republicans or Democrats are in power. In the end, it's about money and the status quo.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


While I’m predisposed to agreeing with the article’s thesis, I thought this was a strong and thorough cataloging of some of the recent political and legal maneuvering of the ESA, whether around games preservationists or political lobbying. I’m personally curious about why 2016 was their impetus for increasing their federal-level party contributions (a pattern that seems to be repeating this year), but that’s more my curiosity speaking than anything else.


Maybe I’m dumb, but what is the thesis? That a trade organization is only “about the money”? If that’s it… I mean, sure, that seems sort of obvious, but there are ways to be more specific, beyond the stuff that trickles down to consumers.

For instance, it seems pretty clear that the increase in donations in 2016 correlates to the increased likelihood that trade and immigration were going to be subject to political action, given the current heavy nativist bent of the Republican candidate and party. Some questions that follow from that are: How many H-1B visas are claimed by game studios and publishers every year? Does the ESA expect that unilateral trade deals will yield better IP protection than what was offered under TPP? Is a worker shortage the reason for the widespread industry practice of crunch? If not, what problem is an increase in labor supply intended to solve?

Instead, this piece has a bunch of threads that are failing to cohere, leading to a pretty bland “about the money” summary statement.