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Full name: Entertainment and Leisure Software Publisher's Association Ltd
Established: 1989
Closed: 9 Sept 2010
Reason: The company was rebranded to UKIE

Founded as the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (UK) Ltd in 1989, ELSPA's goal was to establish a specific and collective identity for the interactive leisure software industry across the European community.

ELSPA's Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

As a gateway to Europe, ELSPA works to protect, promote and provide for the interests of all its members, as well as addressing issues that affect the industry as a whole.

Additionally, the organisation commissions retail research outfit Chart-Track to produce weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual UK videogame sales charts.

In 1994 ELSPA was responsible for introducing the video games ratings to the UK. The first voluntary age rating system for any entertainment medium, the system system has proved extremely successful. During its time over 95% of all leisure software products complied with the ELSPA voluntary code. Over 60% of all games given an ELSPA rating by the Video Standards Council (VSC) were rated as suitable for all ages (i.e. given a rating of age three and over). With more mature titles, the VSC would refer the game in question to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for rating.

In October 2002 the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) announced a voluntary rating system to be used across Europe. Based on the rating template introduced by ELSPA, the new system would eventually become the Pan-European Game Information or PEGI rating system. Readily adopted across the European countries in 2003, ELSPA's original ratings were phased out.

With the announcement of the PEGI Rating system, ELSPA repositioned itself as The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publisher's Association Ltd.

Citing a need to "reflect the evolving and expanding nature of the industry", in March 2010 ELSPA announced plans to reinvent itself as "The Association For UK Interactive Entertainment", or UKIE. On the evening of September 8th 2010, at a event in Westminster, London, the new branding was unveiled. The following day the rebranding took effect and, after more than 20 years as the UK video games industry's figure head, ELSPA ceased to exist.

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Related Press Releases

ELSPA to become The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment

Trade association's mission and image to change

19 Mar 2010

Dates Announced For Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009

Partnership With University Of Abertay; Call For Speakers

03 Feb 2009

European Parliament Sees PEGI Rating System As Right Way Forward

Dutch Politician’s Report Endorses Effective Self-Regulation

23 Jan 2009

First Fake Games Consoles Seized in Uk Raid

Husband and wife team investigated for selling counterfeit games consoles and games on eBay

21 Jan 2009

Bristol Games Criminal Jailed For 15 Months

Bristol man jailed for possessing £50,000-worth of illegally copied games, films and music

27 Aug 2008

ELSPA Backs New Conservative Childhood Review Plan

ELSPA embraces common sense approach taken by Tory Childhood Review, 'More Ball Games'

06 Feb 2008

DTI Awards Trading Standards £5 Million To Tackle Games Piracy

ELSPA welcomes the DTI’s decisions to grant Trading Standards Officers more power to tackle those who sell illegally copied computer and video games.

23 Feb 2007

EA Senior European VP To Head ELSPA

Roger Bennett is to step down after 16 years.

04 May 2006

Website Launch For Concerned Parents

askaboutgames.com goes live today.

07 Dec 2005

Game Over For Benefit Swindling Pirates

‘Secret cupboard’ pair sentenced to a total of 27 months in jail.

04 Aug 2005

Videogameauctions.co.uk tackles piracy head on

Guidance from ELSPA strengthens fight against illegal items

14 Jul 2005

Early Morning Raid at Market Nets Counterfeiters

Joint operation results in seizure of 15,000 illegal discs and 2 arrests.

27 Apr 2005

ELSPA Sponsors Key ‘Gong’ at Annual Excellence Awards

Industry trade body named as sponsor of Best Marketing Team accolade at MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2005.

11 Mar 2005

Codemasters' Darlings honoured by Computer and Video Games Industry with ELSPA Hall of Fame Award

Richard, David and Jim Darling, the founders of Codemasters, have been honoured by the UK computer and video games industry.

12 Dec 2003

ELSPA adopts new Pan-European videogame age rating system

April 24 introduction for universal games classification.

24 Apr 2003

Video games market growing faster than ever before

More people buying more games

11 Mar 2003

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