ESA Halts Political Donations After U.S. Capitol Storming

ESA Halts Political Donations After U.S. Capitol Storming
Image: Entertainment Software Association

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) plans to stop political donations in the wake of the storming of the United States’ capitol building by a right-wing, insurrectionist mob hellbent on keeping Donald Trump in power, reports.

“Given the events and actions that led to the violence at the U.S. Capitol, we are pausing contributions from the ESA PAC as we reflect on the tragedy and our path forward,” the ESA, which among other things oversees the ESRB and organizes E3, said in an official statement.

According to, the ESA has frequently donated to politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties since 2012, though the largest shares often went to Republicans. Several benefactors were connected to attempts to overturn or discredit Joe Biden’s victory in the most recent presidential election, including Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Bill Johnson (R-OH).

This isn’t the first time the ESA has publicly waded into politics. When Trump instituted a 2017 ban of travellers from a handful of Muslim-majority countries, the organisation acknowledged the importance of maintaining a global community in video game development. That same year, however, the ESA praised Trump’s tax plan, which largely cut corporate tax rates and put more money in the hands of the wealthy.

In 2018, the ESA got a little testier, saying that Trump’s labelling of Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” was “repulsive” and his “backward thinking” had no place in society.

That said, words are words, and donation records show that the ESA rarely puts its money where its mouth is. Here’s hoping this is the wake-up call the organisation needs to stop flirting with the arseholes who keep the United States locked in a constant storm of controversy and conspiracy.


  • Jesus Christ, the amount of this… they need to get the fucking money out of politics. If dollars equate to having a voice, it means that corporations and the wealthy get an absurdly disproportionate voice resulting in disproportionate representation.

    • That’s fine, the loudest corpor… *cough* voices… right now are all left leaning (facebook, twitter, amazon, google, you know, the ones that basically run the world) so we’re good now *finger guns*

      • Pfft. Publicly left-leaning on issues like equality, sure, but only as a cover for how abso-fucking-lutely right-wing they are when it comes to industry deregulation, taxation, and monopolies, to the detriment of us all.

        • Yeah… Like literally every left leaning political and social movement/group that gained any sort of power, in history.

          • This is a pretty inaccutate conflation of two very different things – to begin with a company or individual with a financial interest should not be compared to a politician or political party. The former will, under capitalist systems, always try to maximise profits and minimise costs almost without exception while the latter is supposed to be (though of course not always) doing what they do for the sake of societal changes they believe would benefit people aside from themselves (which people is of course an important distinction).

            When you look at political or social movements that have ‘gained power’ I expect you’re thinking of the USSR or CCP – both of which I’m sure we can agree failed to uphold their initial beliefs and ideas as forces within corrupted their initial goals in the case of the USSR or because they were lead by a nutcase who perverted them from the get-go in the case of the CCP.

            Those aren’t the only examples to pick though if you’re looking for examples – Castro’s Cuba for example has plenty of very real, crippling problems I would not want to live under (please don’t go for the strawman argument that I’m a lefty that wouldn’t want to live in a communist / hard left country – like most lefties I want socialist and communist inspired policies in a democracy, not actual outright communism as it has been implemented in reality as opposed to in theories and manifestos) – but it did and does deliver on healthcare and quality education.

            Leaving that aside though there’s a final major problem comparing the two – any hard left government (most of which I’ll absolutely agree were or became monstrous, though not all) don’t have an equal in corporations – almost by definition it’s impossible to have a corporate interest that genuinely holds hard left-wing ideals of the sorts you’re likely thinking of when you think of left-wing groups that have some kind of power. There just isn’t an equivalence to be drawn between the two.

        • This is a really important point a lot of people need to understand – public statements on political issues have absolutely no bearing on the actual political interests of any given company in private.

          With all the tax cuts big corporations get from right wing governments (this is certainly true in Australia too, politically we’re much better off than America, but far from perfect) almost none of the big companies are as progressive as they pretend to be, and the few that are probably just have financial interests that aren’t significantly affected by regulation, high-bracket tax cuts or similar economic policies.

    • Their system is woefully inadequate.

      They have no equivalent of our Australian electoral commission. Nor do they have any equivalent of our Anti Corruption commissions.

      US democracy is one that allows corruption to run rife no matter what side of politics you are on.

  • “When Trump instituted a 2017 ban of travellers from a handful of Muslim-majority countries, the organisation acknowledged the importance of maintaining a global community… ”

    Funny how people keep crapping on about this (half the countries on the list aren’t even Muslim majority countries btw). But no-one cares that 13-16 countries won’t allow people in if they have an Israeli passport, or that 6 of them (4 which appear on the travel ban list) won’t even let someone in if there is evidence of that person having travelled to Israel. Find it quite funny that I cannot go back to my home country (Syria), because it has an Israeli stamp in it. Mind you, wouldn’t want to go back to that crap hole anyway… but it’s the principle of it!

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