Red 5 drops out of E3 2012 to form anti-SOPA movement

Wednesday, 18th January 2012 22:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Firefall developer Red 5 Studios is skipping E3 2012 booth, and devoting its energies to an anti-SOPA grass roots movement.

Red 5′s The League for Gamers has been launched as “a gathering place for gamers, developers and industry supporters who want to stand against legislation that’s detrimental to the games industry”, backed by $50,000 previously intended for an E3 booth.

E3 is a major source of income for the ESA, a trade industry body which has thrown its support behind the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts, despite the discomfort of many of the members it represents.

CEO Mark Kern told ArsTechnica the developer pulled out of the show the very same day it had signed off on a booth, having realised that the ESA would not change its stance.

“We’re on the hook with ESA for the money that we owe them, and because of our stance against what the ESA is doing here, I doubt we’ll ever get that money back,” he admitted.

Interestingly, Kern admitted that it was media efforts – particularly those of Shack News – which spurred him to pull out; Red 5 also took Firefall offline to mark an international day of protest against the proposed legislation.

Kern expressed disappointment that corporations and the ESA are “definitely putting corporate needs well above that of gamers’ First Amendment rights, and the First Amendment rights of the Internet in general”, but said even in purely practical terms, the introduction of SOPA and PIPA could be detrimental to Red 5.

“Because we’re a free-to-play game, and we’re heavily into eSports,” he explained.

“We feel that our ability to stream games on sites like JustinTV or other streaming sites around the world is threatened by the fact that if some user were to stream the wrong content on these sites, these advocates for game spectating would be shut down financially.

“We love the idea of user-generated content. We want to see more games with user-generated content, and [SOPA] threatens that as well. Firefall doesn’t have any, specifically, right now, but we do want to protect eSports and the ability for teams and players to stream game content.

“A lot of shoutcasters make their living by streaming content. All it would take is one game company that says ‘That’s not fair use,’ and it doesn’t just affect that streamer, it affects the entire site.”

Hit the link above to read the full interview, which is well worth a read and not as dry as some SOPA coverage.

Thanks, Gamefront.



  1. Erthazus


    What the F?

    I want Firefall really bad, i can understand them not supporting SOPA and shutting down beta test or site, whatever. but Firefall looks promising and they are not going to E3 because of it. Come on, they are not helping at all.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    @1 What? What exactly is the problem with what they’re doing?

    Anyway, I’m glad to see companies are getting behind this idea.

    Numerous websites and promiment journalists are also vowing not to cover E3 unless ESA pulls its support for SOPA. I hope other developers and publishers follow suit.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. absolutezero

    Ill stand buy them for showing up the ESA for the useless bastards that they are.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    What annoys me the most are the members of ESA who try to pass themselves off as being against SOPA.

    You’re a part of one of the biggest lobbying organizations supporting the bill. Either put up or shut up.

    Talking a good game changes nothing.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. revolting

    @1 Relax, they’ve cancelled a PR event, not the entire production of the game. Not going to E3 has absolutely zero effect on the game’s production. They’re just proving a point, and it would be great to see many more studios follow their example.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. The_Red

    I think this is a mistake. The blackout was at least coordinated and meaningful. This move is just against ESA, which isn’t the key player behind SOPA. It is a big player but Hollywood is the one that should be targeted and removing your game from an important game trade convention is NOT the way to show them your support for free web.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. El_MUERkO

    They don’t need E3, they’ll save $50g and remind the ESA to pay more attention to it’s members. Good for them!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    I dont think this is the right course of action,because i believe if the developers that are members of the ESA, are really against the SOPA, then they should leave ESA ASAP, and i mean all of them, especially sony, nintendo and microsoft, they should lead the way and give a good example to other developers to follow, thats of course if they are really against the SOPA, which i doubt IMHO.

    #8 3 years ago

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