Video game industry group names new CEO

Video game industry group names new CEO
© Courtesy ESA

Stanley Pierre-Louis, the former general counsel at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), was named ESA's president and CEO on Monday, The Hill has learned exclusively. 

Pierre-Louis has been with ESA, which represents the $43.4 billion U.S. video game industry, since May 2015. He has served as its acting president and CEO since last October.


“Obviously this is a momentous moment for our industry. We have shown that we are an economic engine,” Pierre-Louis told The Hill. “Being able to tell that story about this industry is a great opportunity.”

Prior to ESA, Pierre-Louis served as senior vice president and associate general counsel for intellectual property at Viacom Inc.

He was previously co-chair of the Entertainment and Media Law Group at Kaye Scholer LLP and senior vice president for legal affairs at the Recording Industry Association of America.

“Growing up I always had an interest in the arts and STEM. Going into intellectual property law was a natural. [ESA] was the next step in my career and I’m glad I arrived when I did because the issues are richer than ever and the people who are in this industry are dynamic and want to provide consumers with the best products and best experiences,” he said. 

He added that he feels this is the “golden age” of video games.

“We are the leading form of entertainment in American culture and we enhance how humans and technology interact and how they interact with each other,” he said.

Pierre-Louis’s immediate goal involves planning for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which is a trade event for the video game industry held in Los Angeles in June. 

Long term, he is focused on teaching the public and policymakers about the industry. He touted a 9 percent increase in adults playing video games since 2018, and the wide majority of people — over 70 percent — who said in a poll they play for stress release, relaxation or mental stimulation.

“More people are playing, more people are playing together, more people are playing for more reasons,” he said. “We’re finding the video games are a significant part of people’s lives.”

It is a challenging time for the video game industry as households are focused on decreasing the amount of time people spend looking at screens. Violence in games has also been scrutinized.

ESA, Pierre-Louis said, has been an advocate for providing parents with information about games and providing tools to limit the amount of time spent on the industry's products.

Pierre-Louis replaced Michael Gallagher, who stepped down in October 2018. Gallagher had been at the helm of the organization since 2007, and he replaced ESA founder Doug Lowenstein.