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Video and gaming trade groups merge

The Video Software Dealers Association and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association announced last week that they would merge. The boards of both groups approved the move to create a single U.S. trade association to represent retailers and distributors of video and video game products.

The merger comes as the U.S. video game industry fights proposed laws that would make it illegal for retailers to sell violent or sexually explicit games to minors, Reuters reported. Critics claim that video game industry's self-rating system lacks adequate retail enforcement.

The merger will bring together mass merchants, video rental stores, video specialty stores, video game specialty retailers, online merchants, electronics retailers, entertainment combo stores, and others involved in the sale to consumers or the wholesaling of DVDs, console video games and computer video games.

The U.S. video game market generated $10 billion in 2004, rivaling the take of the Hollywood box office, Reuters said. The name of the combined trade association will be announced at a later date.

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