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Epic Games, in conjunction with Staffordshire University have announced the opening of the Epic Games Centre; a fully-equipped site for the use by around 500 students on the University's 8 games design courses. The partnership, which will be in operation for an initial period of 2 years, will see the creators of the Unreal Engine provide hardware, software, teaching, and key personnel to the University.
In what is being hailed as one of the most significant industry to academic link-ups to date in the gaming world, Epic Games should rightfully be praised in their recognition of the importance of the next generation of games designers. In the current over-saturated AAA market combined with the rise of the Independent Games Community, large developers such as Epic would be wise to incorporate talented rookies and their fresh ideas in order to prevent the stagnation of the industry. The sentiment here is reflected by Epic's European Territory Manager Mike Gamble who commented:
"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."
The Epic Games Centre will also be the host venue for Epic Developer Days for professional Unreal Engine users, with the first events beginning spring 2014. Visit http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/art_and_design/gamesdesign/ for further information.
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