By Doug Zartman and Jeanine DeSocio


MacOS Game Publishers Create ³MESA² ... and lay it all on the table DALLAS‹February 20, 1997‹Facing an increasingly fluid and unpredictable marketplace, the most prominent entertainment publishers for the MacOS platform have banded together to form MESA, the MacOS Entertainment Software Association. The Association will serve as a unified body acting with the combined bargaining power of its members, as a central clearinghouse for marketing resources and ideas, and as a vehicle for promotion of the MacOS as an entertainment platform. MESA is comprised of the leading MacOS entertainment companies and was formed with the assistance and blessing of Apple Computer, Inc. Most MESA member companies have an active presence on the Wintel platform, but as members, signal their desire to further support MacOS gamers and developers. MESA member companies currently include: Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie Software, Changeling, Inc., Graphic Simulations, Lucas Arts, MacPlay, MacSoft, Parsoft Interactive, and StarPlay. An entertainment platform rests on its developers, who depend on publishers, who require channels to get games into customers¹ hands. MESA is intended to address a variety of problems confronting small, independent game publishers: Continuing loss of shelf space for Mac games; Spiraling costs of marketing through retail and mail order channels; Lack of awareness among users of the variety of games available. MESA¹s first effort will be a program to revitalize mail order distribution, traditionally the Mac¹s most important channel. Members will narrow their marketing efforts to a selected group of resellers. They will act as partners to those companies, directing customers to them, sharing marketing resources, offering substantial discounts on titles and making long-term marketing commitments. Members will also act to raise awareness of the entertainment sector of the platform in general. These efforts are designed to increase profitability for the channel as well as the publishers, creating a more stable business environment and ultimately, an expansion of entertainment options for MacOS users. Mark Gavini, of Apple Computer, says ³As Games Evangelist, I intend to do whatever I can to help MESA's members insure that Mac gamers worldwide have the highest quality games available to them." Among publishers, expectations for MESA are high. Peter Tamte, of MacSoft, notes "As the publisher of all of GT Interactive's upcoming Mac game titles, including Quake and Duke Nukem 3D, we believe this group presents an excellent opportunity to make the Mac the best place for games." Bungie¹s Alexander Seropian is ³looking forward to a closer and more equitable partnership between publishers and resellers.² For more insight into the context of this action, see Alexander Seropian¹s online essay on the current state of game publishing, www.bungie.com/soapbox/soapbox896.html. ###