GREE, Mad Catz, and NetDragon Websoft join ESA

The Entertainment Software Association's membership grew by three members this morning, as the ESA announced GREE, Mad Catz, and NetDragon Websoft to have joined its "membership roster." The ESA notes that this brings its membership up to 34 member companies, representing both publishers and developers.

The addition of GREE and Mad Catz is no surprise – both companies have taken a more aggressive approach to game industry visibility in the past few years, and joining the ESA seems like a logical step. NetDragon Websoft, according to our brethren at Massively, is a Chinese MMO developer signed on to bring Ultima Online to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and India with Electronic Arts.

Now that all three companies are card-carrying ESA members, perhaps a congrats are in order? We'll consider sending a fruit basket.
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VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION WELCOMES GREE,
MAD CATZ AND NETDRAGON WEBSOFT AS NEW MEMBERS
Trade Group Enhances Its Mobile, Social, and Digital Reach

August 1, 2012 – Washington, DC – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced the addition of GREE International, Inc., Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., and NetDragon Websoft Inc. to its membership roster. The trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers now has 34 members.

"These new members are leaders in the breathtaking number of business models that exist to excite and reach today's entertainment consumers," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA. "We look forward to learning from them, and protecting their future success in critical areas such as e-commerce regulation, privacy, and intellectual property protection."

GREE is one of the world's largest mobile gaming companies, creating some of the top games in today's market and a hugely successful mobile social platform in Japan. GREE most recently announced the worldwide beta for its new global mobile social games platform, which allows players around the world to interact through games and brings developers the social tools they need to deliver games to high-engagement audiences. GREE maintains its North American headquarters in San Francisco and recently acquired Funzio – a leader in the mid-core mobile games market.

"GREE is passionate about the mobile gaming industry here in North America and is committed to its growth and development," says Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of GREE International, Inc. "We are thrilled to become a member of the ESA, and take this important step in our ongoing focus to build the mobile gaming industry and create an ideal environment for developers, publishers, and players to thrive."

San Diego-based Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. is a global provider of interactive entertainment products marketed primarily under its Mad Catz® (casual gaming), Cyborg™ (pro gaming), Tritton® (gaming audio), Saitek® (simulation) and Eclipse™ (home and office) brands. Mad Catz also develops flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios™; operates a video game content website under its GameShark® brand; publishes games under its Mad Catz Interactive brand; and distributes games and video game products for third parties.

"ESA has a strong track record of steadfastly supporting its members," said Darren Richardson, president and CEO of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "We are eager to join the association's ranks, and excited to share our unique perspective and experience with ESA leadership and fellow members."

NetDragon Websoft Inc. is a leading innovator and creative force in China's online and mobile game industries. Established in 1999, NetDragon Websoft develops and operates massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPG) such as Conquer Online, Eudemons Online, Zero Online, Heroes of Might and Magic Online, and Dungeon Keeper Online. The company also develops game technology and content for smartphones, and owns several mobile software platforms, including sj.91.com and hiapk.com, that feature a variety of games.

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit www.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @RichatESA.
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This article was originally published on Joystiq.