Epic Games has launched a significant partnership with Staffordshire University in an initiative being hailed as a unique collaboration between industry and academia. At the heart of the project is the Epic Games Centre, a fully equipped space for use by students on the university’s games design courses. The agreement also enables close co-operation between Epic, the university faculty and its game design students.
Staffordshire University offers eight courses in games design and currently has just under 500 students going through its courses. Its alumni occupy a variety of positions in development studios in the UK, Europe and the U.S.
"There's a lot of talk about the need for the industry to get more involved with the academic process and have a greater input into how games design is taught. This collaboration will enable Staffs students to have a direct link with Epic and a direct line to the heart of the industry. In turn, Epic and its developer partners will have access to these world-class facilities along with a new generation of game makers totally immersed within the world of Unreal Engine technology," commented Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager at Epic Games.
"We have many great courses here at Staffs but this partnership will give our students a deeper understanding of how theory is put into practice and a greater understanding of the commercial complexities of the development process. We've no doubt that this collaboration will make our courses more attractive to potential students and provide us all with a new dimension of awareness about how the industry works and evolves," commented Dr Bobbie Fletcher.
As part of the partnership, which is initially set for two years, Epic will provide hardware, teaching time and access to software and key personnel. The Epic Games Centre respectively will host Epic Developer Days for professional Unreal Engine users, with the first licensee events commencing this spring.