UCL launches ‘The Games Quarter’, a new model for CPD in the videogame industry

22 May 2014

UCL, in partnership with TIGA is launching a new model of continuing professional development for the videogame industry, with its course The Games Quarter.

The Games Quarter is a CPD certified course of 26, hour-long evening sessions, led by experts from top UK studios as well as tutors from UCL itself. The sessions will cover four key areas: 1) Business & Finance, 2) Design, Development & Production, 3) Marketing & Public Relations, 4) General industry knowledge.

What makes The Games Quarter different?

UCL believes the pace of change and level of emergent complexity in the tech industries is such that a different approach is required to effectively benefit professionals working in tech, this means:

  • Sessions are led by practitioners who work at the cutting edge of their own field
  • The ultimate goal is to enhance the user experience, and the effective, early use of consumer feedback is a core focus
  • A diverse and holistic approach is required, in terms of students, tutors, and course topics, to help participants understand how all the pieces of running a successful tech business fit together in practice
  • The course is ‘co-curated’ with all those taking part on an on-going basis, because constant improvement, updates and adjustment are required for to keep up with the industry

The Games Quarter is officially approved by the CPD Certification Service. However, rather than providing a qualification the focus is on transforming real life games businesses by providing:

  • A network of peers and expert industry contacts
  • A practical toolkit for dealing with the challenges individual games businesses are actually facing
  • The structure, insight and planning needed to start a new games business or secure funding
  • The structure, insight and planning needed to launch a new game, or enhance an existing concept
  • An experience that complements and helps prepare games businesses for other types of training such as incubator and accelerator programmes

This approach has been pioneered by UCL and Mobile Monday London with The Mobile Academy programme over the past two years, and following its impact and success is now being rolled out, for the first time, for the videogame industry.

The course is also being part funded by the Capital Accelerator Programme, an initiative led by Capital Enterprise to support accelerators, incubators and universities such as UCL to help start-ups and small businesses in the London tech sector to accelerate their growth. Part funded by the European Regeneration Development Fund via the Mayor of London, this initiative is proud to support TIGA and UCL to discover and support the next generation of great games companies in London. 

Dr. Alastair Moore, IDEALondon Governing Board Member, UCL Enterprise, Senior Manager Accelerator Programmes, UCL Advances – Centre for Entrepreneurship, comments:

“We are delighted to partner with TIGA because its connections with and understanding of the UK videogame development industry are second to none.

“The video game sector is one of our most important creative industries and one where the UK provides real leadership. Due to both economic and technological drivers the videogame sector has been and continues to go through a period of unprecedented change, in both its scale and speed.

From finance to design, and development to marketing, The Games Quarter’s uniquely holistic approach will show how all the pieces of the fast moving and complex games industry fit together.

Dr. Alastair Moore (UCL Advances – Centre for Entrepreneurship)

“UCL believes now is the time to apply the lessons we’ve learned from pioneering a new approach to continuing professional development in mobile, to the games industry.”

“The Games Quarter will bring together expert practitioners and a diverse community to collaborate and co-curate a learning experience that will help participants learn how to run a games business in the real world. From finance to design, and development to marketing, The Games Quarter’s uniquely holistic approach will show how all the pieces of the fast moving and complex games industry fit together.”

Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, added:

“TIGA aims to enhance the professionalism and proficiency of the UK games industry. We want to help developers and digital publishers to be as good at running a business as they are at making games.

“We are partnering with UCL because The Games Quarter offers a new and effective model of continuing professional development for the games industry, which will encourage knowledge sharing and best practice and make a practical, commercial difference to developers and digital publishers. 

"The Games Quarter will help game developers enhance both their technical and business skills by working on a real-life project that will have a significant positive impact on their business. It will also involve developers teaching developers and so promote the building of more sustainable and successful studios.”

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