A college has joined forces with one of the world’s most high-profile gaming brands to help develop the next generation of digital pioneers.
Sunderland College is the first education provider in the North East, and only the second in the country, to be part of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s global academic programme, PlayStation®First.
Designed to inspire and encourage developers to create games across all PlayStation platforms, the programme opens up opportunities for member universities and colleges.
Through PlayStation First, students on the NextGen level 3 diploma course at Sunderland College can access PlayStation development tools, guidance and support. This means that students get to use the same hardware that game studios around the world are using to create PlayStation games.
Mike Jaques, the college’s curriculum leader for digital design, said: “As part of the process to become an education partner, we had to convince Sony Interactive Entertainment that we had the right approach to game development, so it’s incredibly rewarding that such an established brand has recognised the talents of our students. We’re honoured to collaborate with a global leader in games development and publishing and to become part of this innovative programme which opens up a range of unparalleled opportunities for our students.”
The students will be able to develop and publish games on PlayStation for gamers around the world to access. They are already developing a game which they plan to release in 2019.
Mike added: “There are 105 students working on our first PlayStation project – a 3D puzzle game based in an environment which has been entirely created and designed by the group. It’s fantastic to see the level of creativity and skill that they are harnessing in order to fulfil their ambitions of publishing a commercial game. These are 16 and 17-year-olds who are already acquiring commercial experience and are working with industry-standard software and equipment, using the knowledge they have gained on their course. It is such an exciting opportunity for them, and they will reap the benefits in the future when they look to begin their careers in the industry.”
“At PlayStation, we want to inspire the next generation,” said Luke Savage, senior academic development manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “The games industry needs new talent. It needs new perspectives, individuals who can push the boundaries and bring us new, innovative experiences.
“That’s why we’re excited to have Sunderland College join PlayStation First. I can’t wait to see what the students come up with.”