February 3, 2016
The Entertainment Software Association, the top trade group that represents the video game industry in the United States, released a statement on January 30, 2016 that spoke out against President Trump’s new travel ban.
Trump’s latest executive action has sparked many to speak out in disagreement, and protests have been taken up in airports all around the country. According to the ESA the travel ban, which puts a temporary halt on many immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim nations, will negatively impact the gaming industry as a whole. The statement is as follows:
“The Entertainment Software Association urges the White House to exercise caution with regard to vital immigration and foreign worker programs. As a leading force in technology and exporter of entertainment, the U.S. video game industry thrives on the contributions of innovators and storytellers from around the world. While recognizing that enhancing national security and protecting our country’s citizens are critical goals, our companies rely on the skilled talent of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and immigrants alike. Our nation’s actions and words should support their participation in the American economy.”
The ESA, which represents many of the biggest names in the gaming industry, such as Capcom, Bethesda, and Ubisoft, many of whom have voiced their opposition to the executive order as well. As stated in a separate press release from the ESA reporting the 30.4 billion dollars of revenue made from the gaming industry in 2016:
“The U.S. video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors, providing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to Americans and generating billions of dollars in revenue for communities across the nation.”
The future effects of this travel ban could have a big impact on the gaming industry, especially combined with the likelihood of tariffs on imported goods. Only time will tell.