Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association
From Sega Retro
The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) was an organisation set up in 1989 by British software publishers. It was known as the European Leisure Software Publishers Association until 2002.
From 1989 to Spring 2004, ELSPA voluntarily rated computer games released in Britain that were exempt from legal classification by the BBFC. The ratings given were originally 3–10, 11–14, 15–17 and 18+. Red "X"s highlighted ages a game was unsuitable for, while a tick in the categories above that indicated suitable ages. For example, a game suitable for all ages would have all categories checked. A title suitable only for adults would have "X"s in all categories except for 18+. A title suitable for ages 11 and older would have "X" in 3–10 and ticks in the rest. The ratings were later simplified to 3+, 11+, 15+ or 18+ as appropriate. The Mortal Kombat series was a notable candidate for having more mature audience ratings. This has now been replaced by a European ratings system, called PEGI.
ELSPA are responsible for providing sales charts for computer games sold in the United Kingdom, and promoting anti-piracy initiatives, very much like the music industry's organisation, the BPI. It also co-manages the London Games Festival and the Edinburgh Interactive Festival.
While ELSPA represents British software publishers, video game developers in the UK are represented by The Independent Games Developers Association.