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New ESA prez Mike Gallagher speaks


Information on new Entertainment Software Association president Mike Gallagher has been slim -- very slim. The new lead of the industry's lobbying group has been more behind-the-scenes compared to predecessor Doug Lowenstein. Gallagher hasn't taken the training wheels off yet with his new job and didn't even bother having the annual opening speech kicking off E3 like Lowenstein would have. This was always an opportunity to hear what was going on with the industry and the ESA, hear Lowenstein's thoughts and afterward he'd be open to questions. An interview with GameDaily, which relates an unabridged version of Gallagher compared to his NY Times piece, gives a little insight into why the shift -- whether intentional or not, Gallagher comes off as a hired gun more than a man invested in the industry -- it's all politics. But maybe that's the point.

Gallagher says his early experience so far is like "taking a drink of water from a fire hose." The interview sounds like he's still going through a learning curve and grasping the basics of the industry, depending on staff (one of whom is ready to leave) and asking former ESA pres. Doug Lowenstein for advice. He says he's been meeting with politicians on Capital Hill, "I'm drawing a much deeper picture of what the policymakers' view of our industry is and that's important because that's one of the key audiences that we need to impact at ESA ... understanding 'where are they right now?' and 'how do we move them to where they're meeting the goal of creating a positive policy environment for the growth of video games?'" Maybe it is best that Gallagher learns what he's doing before coming out. We're quite aware of the ESA doing many things behind the scenes in regards to recent issues and scandals, but it's still not clear if that's through Gallagher's leadership or the trained staff Lowenstein left behind.

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