Launch of IESA

edited in Association News
So there has been much discussion of late on the forums on the future of the MGSA, the membership fees, changes to the website, when we will have our AGM. I'd like to hopefully be able to answer all of these questions, with the announcement of the launch of Interactive Entertainment South Africa (IESA). I was hoping to hold off on this until I had all my ducks in a row, but the recent discussions have necessitated that I move sooner than I would have liked.

First let me deal with what the intention behind IESA is, why we've created a separate body and how I foresee IESA and MGSA working together in the future.

What is IESA?
Interactive Entertainment South Africa is an industry body that will be primarily mandated with lobbying, policy and industry development for the Interactive Entertainment industry in South Africa. In real terms this means all the responses to legislation, research, meeting with Government, foreign bodies, investors and the like that I have been doing on behalf of MGSA will now be conducted through IESA instead (see it as IESA taking over these functions from MGSA, though if someone wants to do all this for MGSA they are welcome to, it's just I won't be doing it). IESA is not a community and will not be having a forum similar to this, nor would it be responsible for organizing the monthly community meet-ups. These are functions and roles of MGSA, and are certainly something that it excels at. IESA is not for individuals, it is for Companies (sole proprietors are welcome!). IESA is not only for game developers, in order to have weight behind our lobbying we need to broaden our net, distributors, publishers and support services to game development would all be able to join IESA. IESA is not only for "indie" game studios (Make Games was not intended, and isn't, only for indie games, but it seems to be common perception that it is). IESA has a paid membership structure, with the annual fees ranging from R400 to R60,000.00 per year. IESA will (pending on SARS) be active in February. You do not need to be a member of MGSA in order to be a member of IESA or vice-versa. IESA's work will benefit the entire community, even if they are not members (though IESA members will certainly be getting some preferential benefits). Several prominent studios have already committed to IESA.

Why a new body? MGSA is already doing a lot of what IESA is going to do
There are two primary reasons for creating a new body, first is the requirement for it (for tax, but also sustainability) to charge membership fees, which admittedly are not low. It is, I believe, unfair to suddenly change how people can join Make Games or expect the broader community to now have to pay fees. It also reduces the complexity of reporting and administering "membership" of the two entities.

I also believe that the two bodies will each have their own focus and having different "brands" will allow both to present a clear message on what they are doing and who they are for.

There is also the reality, that a lot of our professional developers have distanced themselves from Make Games, some going as far as not wanting to be associated or involved with it at all. IESA presents us with an opportunity to get them back and involved with development and growth of the industry in a unified manner.

How will MGSA and IESA interact with each other?
I hope MGSA and IESA will work together to develop and grow the industry. Practically for the vast majority of MGSA members, there will be no practical difference. The forums will continue to exist, the community meet ups and jams will continue to happen. MGSA will remain as the best place for any one interested in the game dev industry to meet other devs and share projects and works. The one noticeable difference will be the handling of "events". IESA, thanks to its budget will be attending events like rAge and EGE, it will also be able to hopefully sponsor some space to allow MGSA to curate and present the best games that the community has to offer. IESA will also be in a position to now help projects that come out of the community like the SFA or the Amber Key Collabortorium

That's all I want to say for now. I'll post links to our website, business plan and prospectus as soon as I've tidied them up and made them a bit more presentable. Please feel free to ask question below.

What does this mean for MGSA? I'll post a response in this thread shortly:


  • edited
    Kudos! I really like the reality that's been considered around this, I agree that having an independent body will clarify things for people. For example the fact that the membership fees were not mandatory for all was not immediate obvious for some. And the separation of the forum as a community and the body as a legal representation is most welcome.

    Answering hard questions gets IESA points :)
    Practically for the vast majority of members,
    I think this should be clarified to be "for the vast majority of MGSA members"
    Thanked by 1LexAquillia
  • Sounds great looking forward to how the SA government will be supporting IESA.
  • Sounds like the start of a great new chapter here!
  • I remember a discussion on some type of employement benefit for companies being associated with MGSA or this new body.

    Can anybody point me in the right direction?
  • @LexAquillia Thank you for all the effort you've put towards establishing this organization (you seriously need to be issued with a cape). This is going to be a platform that will greatly increase the legitimacy of Video Game Design in the public eye as well as with government, not just locally, but internationally. I look forward to the day that government allocates a budget towards developing the local Video Game industry, and providing bursaries to young Game Designers.

    This is a milestone for Video Games in South Africa, and you can count on my full support :)
  • Just a quick question: What is covered by "Interactive Entertainment"?
  • I see website and Twitter account now exists! I'm sure there will be an announcement to follow, but for the sake of google et all I'll link it here:
    Thanked by 2Sash mattbenic
  • So yes, we had a "soft launch" on Friday last week. But we're up and running and accepting applications for membership :)


    The core sectors in the industry that would be covered by "interactive entertainment" are: Games for Entertainment (across all platforms), Serious Games, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Simulators. Companies directly involved in the development, distribution and publishing of these types of media would be our target "members". For now IESA will be an umbrella organisation for all these sectors, but in time as numbers grow we will look at the feasibility of opening different chapters or committees to deal with these different focus areas.

    I've been approached by a number of YouTubers and Let's Players who have expressed an interest in joining IESA and I don't see why they should not be able to join in some capacity. I'm not sure that full membership as described in our prospectus would be appropriate, but I will definitely investigate the possibility of a specific tier for these sort of content creators if there is sufficient demand.
  • @LexAquillia: Thanks.

    The reason I ask is that I want to make Gobbo Games a member but our primary focus at the moment is Board Games and Tabletop Games with our apps as value adds for those products ... so I am not sure I will fall in to the category. 8-{
  • quintond said:
    @LexAquillia: Thanks.

    The reason I ask is that I want to make Gobbo Games a member but our primary focus at the moment is Board Games and Tabletop Games with our apps as value adds for those products ... so I am not sure I will fall in to the category. 8-{
    I imagine that you'd fit under the Games for Entertainment category, it's platform agnostic. If there are enough boardgame studios signed up, maybe IESA could look at applying for funding for trips to Spiel or Lucca (or any of the PAXes) the same way the Gamescom application is being handled. Gamescom itself might even be a not terrible fit - Germany is boardgame central!
  • Hmmm...

    I don't see why board games wouldn't qualify, it certainly meets the requirement of being interactive entertainment. I'll ask the founding board and get back to you
    Thanked by 2quintond dammit
  • Majority of board says board games are in! You can apply here:
  • Majority of board says board games are in! You can apply here:
    Yay. Okay cool. Let me move forward with the registration of the business officially and will then do the membership application. Thanks.
  • Awesome stuff @LexAquillia, step in the right direction I reckon. Maybe this is a stupid question, but as an individual/freelance composer do you think it is beneficial for me to sign up?
    Thanked by 1Sash
  • I must say I like the idea of an organization like IESA.
    Can anyone give me some information regarding the "Access to IESA research and reports"?

    Will official research be done, is there any plans etc?
  • I'm wondering if the CEO position is going to be a full-time position?
  • @dreampunchboy, for now the research will be the continuation of the industry surveys that MGSA started. I'm hoping to expand it to other areas, and budget allowing I'd really like to fund some master or PHD level studies into specific topics. I'm also looking to partner with formal research groups to get better stats on the local consumer and developer market

    @Critc the intention is to have all the positions at IESA as full time, but that will require sufficient membership and fees to do so. For now it is part-time until we get our numbers up to sustain the different posts
  • I've updated our "About Us" page to give you a better idea of what IESA is all about:
  • Wondering if there are any plans for updates or changes to IESA for 2017? @lexaquillia
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