Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the lobbyist group and host of video game trade show E3, is in hot water after an exposé by Variety. The feature reports of a toxic work environment largely caused by former President Mike Gallagher. Reports of tapped phones, favoritism, and random firings paint a stark picture of working for the company:
Several employees described Gallagher as a boss who was very difficult to work with, saying he was seen as manipulative, moody and sometimes nasty. He told at least one person in the game industry that he liked to pit his employees against one another to elicit the best work from them as they vied for his approval. He would occasionally send what sources said were vicious, belittling emails to employees.
The ESA is now in shambles with their president fired and no one to steer the ship. That’s not a huge surprise to those following the game industry, given E3’s identity crisis and recent threats from Congress. But what the feature revealed is worse than anyone imagined. I recommend reading the full article, as it’s quite the story.