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SOPA Protest: Red 5 CEO Calls for 2012 E3 Boycott

The CEO of online games studio Red 5 has issued a call to arms, urging the industry to boycott 2012’s E3 to protest the expo’s support of the Stop Online Privacy Act.

Red 5’s CEO Mark Kern called for the boycott during an interview with Ars Technica stating: “To me, it’s really disheartening that the industry and the ESA [is] definitely putting corporate needs well above that of gamers’ First Amendment rights, and the First Amendment rights of the Internet in general.” Later adding “The best way to get back at the ESA is to not support E3, you know? To encourage the game press not to attend, not to cover it. Encourage game developers not to attend.”

Kein went on to confirm that Red 5 would be using the money it had previously put aside for E3 to launch an anti-SOPA lobbying group called, The League For Gamers. “[The League For Gamers is] a gathering place for gamers, developers and industry supporters who want to stand against legislation that’s detrimental to the games industry,” Kein commented on the new anti-SOPA group.

E3 is set to begin on June 5 in Los Angeles. Last year the expo was attended by roughly 48,000 gamers and members of the industry. The expo is organised by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – a games industry trade organisation that supports the controversial SOPA bill.

SOPA is a US bill that – along with its sibling PIPA – seeks to protect copyrighted material from online piracy. Since being announced the act has met with widespread disapproval, with many criticising the “online censorship” powers it grants the US Justice Department.

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