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Activision Blizzard and Tencent join the Entertainment Software Association

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American holding company Activision Blizzard and China-based investment holding group Tencent have joined the Entertainment Software Association, the organization announced today.

The commitment of these two companies brings ESA membership up to 37 organizations. As part of the ESA, Activision Blizzard and Tencent will have access to a number of the organization's services, which include legal and policy analysis, First Amendment advocacy and business and consumer research, as well as assistance with any IP or anti-piracy issues and operations at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

"We are excited to join ESA," said Activision Blizzard chief legal officer Chris Walther. "ESA has a long track-record of supporting its members and the video game industry, and we look forward to sharing our unique perspective and experience with them."

"ESA supports and cultivates collaboration among member companies," added director of business development and industry relations at Tencent Gordon Bellamy. "We are excited to join an association that promotes the development of the U.S. game industry as we are exploring more opportunities in this market."

Activision is rejoining the ESA after leaving in May 2008 along with Vivendi Games, following the decision of both companies — in the process of merging at the time — to not attend E3. The company stated its departure from the organization was due to "business reasons."

"After careful consideration, Activision has decided not to renew its ESA membership for business reasons and will not be participating in any official E3 activities," the company said in a statement at the time. "We appreciate the work that the ESA has done over the years in promoting the interactive entertainment industry with state and federal governments and wish the ESA best of luck with the show."