The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has cancelled their planned Origins Online convention after a number of exhibitors and online talent pulled out of the show due to GAMA's lack of a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. GAMA announced that they were cancelling their planned online convention late last night after an emergency meeting of GAMA's board, which came in the wake of a mass pullout of exhibitors and on-camera talent, many of whom were set to appear on Origins TV, an ongoing stream featuring interviews and game showcases. While some talent initially did not provide an explanation as to why they were stepping away from the show, several industry insiders noted that it was due to GAMA's inability to make a statement in solidarity with their Black members, gaming fans, and industry professionals. By yesterday evening, a number of high-profile creators such as Elizabeth Hargrave (Wingspan designer) and Eric Lang (Blood Rage, Rising Sun) and publishers such as Renegade Game Studios, Leder Games, and Restoration Studios had all announced that they were no longer participating in Origins Online.
Late last evening, GAMA president John Stacy released a statement on behalf of GAMA affirming their support of Black Lives Matter and apologizing for their delay in making a statement. Stacy also stated that they could not "responsibly hold" Origins Online in the backdrop of the protests and ongoing conversations about the injustices people face today. However, the statement did not acknowledge the many Black talent that had spoken out about GAMA's silence, either through their words or through their actions. GAMA also announced that it would match any donation by any exhibitor, vendor, or advertiser made to one of five organizations using money originally owned for Origins Online.
You can read GAMA's full statement below:
Black lives matter. Text DEMANDS to 55156 to sign Color of Change's petition to reform policing, and visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co for more ways to donate, sign petitions, and protest safely.