On Friday 18 July key figures from the games industry, regional business and Falmouth University celebrated the launch of Alacrity Falmouth – the University's new graduate entrepreneurship programme.
Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the incubation programme aims to seed the next generation of digital games companies. Professor Anne Carlisle, Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive of Falmouth University opened proceedings explaining, "Alacrity is a tremendously exciting programme which promises to catalyse growth in the digital games sector through a market driven approach. It's a major moment for Falmouth, the South West and the UK games sector."
Led by Nick Dixon, Alacrity Falmouth's Programme Director, strategic partners and interested delegates were offered Studio tours to see the developments since the programme's start eight weeks ago. Spread into their five teams, students were on hand to discuss their work, backgrounds and objectives.
Among those to attend was Dr Maria Stukoff, Head of PlayStationFirst, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Academic Game Development Programme, who commended the market-orientated incubation approach. "This is amazing," said Maria, "The UK games industry is renowned for its highly skilled workforce, and Alacrity Falmouth is central to incubating the next wave of talented game creators to drive our industry forward."
"It's the student developers of today who will influence the videogame industry, and together with PlayStationFirst and industry mentors, Alacrity Falmouth is at the heart of this talent investment," added Maria.
Also in attendance were the Alacrity mentors who, together with staff, will help guide students in their journey to create high-value, high-growth digital games companies. Imre Jele, Co-Founder & Creator-in-Chief at Bossa Studios and Alacrity mentor shared his observations: "Alacrity Falmouth quickly became one of my favourite games courses in the UK. Their incubator programme promotes a no-nonsense, results driven yet creative attitude which prepares their students to start their own games business or join successful companies and hit the ground running there. I can't wait to see what sort of games these students will create."
Alacrity Falmouth is based at Falmouth's Academy for Innovation & Research (AIR), where participants have access to a wealth of resources courtesy of visiting lecturers, industry residents and in-house expertise. The Alacrity Falmouth staff offer over 30 years of collective experience in games development, publication and teaching. Their expertise ranges from high profile franchises including Doctor Who, Star Wars and Stargate, to international companies such as Universal Studios, Laika, Aardman Animations, BBC Worldwide, MGM and Warner Bros.
Falmouth already enjoys a strong presence among the games community. Earlier this year alumnus Rex Crowle became a triple winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards for games with Media Molecule's game Tearaway. Rex, who collected awards in the artistic achievement, family, and mobile and handheld categories, will be returning to Falmouth this August as part of the Fascinate digital arts conference.
Widely regarded as one of the largest entertainment markets, the global games industry is expected to be worth $79 billion in 2017, with over 75% of revenue delivered through the digital sector*.
*Source: DFC Intelligence Forecasts, 2013