Rockstar North backs Dare to be Digital

10 July 2008

The creators of the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto IV computer game are throwing their weight behind Dare to be Digital 2008.

Edinburgh-based Rockstar North is to sponsor the Dare to be Digital 2008 awards ceremony, which this year will for the first time take place in Edinburgh.

Dare to be Digital is the world’s leading games design competition for students, organized and promoted by the University of Abertay Dundee. About 100 teams applied to enter this year’s competition, from which 17 teams of five programmers and artists were selected to compete in five locations across Britain and Ireland.

The 2008 awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on 13 August at Edinburgh International Conference Centre, not far from Rockstar North’s custom-built headquarters in the heart of Edinburgh.

The company is well aware of Dare to be Digital’s value in encouraging and fostering new talent for the computer games industry.

A Rockstar representative commented:“We have watched the growth of Dare to be Digital over the years, and we have always been impressed with the quality of talent the competition attracts and helps to nurture.”

“In fact, we ourselves have made several successful hires from among previous contestants, who have all contributed to our thriving creative community of developers from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities.”

Paul Durrant of Abertay University, which promotes and organizes Dare to be Digital, welcomed the announcement, saying:“We are very pleased that Rockstar North is supporting Dare to be Digital 2008. The quality of their work is recognised throughout the worldwide computer games industry, and I am sure that our contestants will be thrilled to take part in a competition endorsed by such a well-respected developer.

“Just like Rockstar, everyone involved with Dare to be Digital is eagerly anticipating an even higher standard of work from this year’s contestants, and now with Rockstar North’s support we will be able to celebrate that talent and achievement with a truly spectacular awards ceremony.”

Dare to be Digital is also planning to give the general public a chance to get involved: each team’s progress can be followed on the competition website–<> and members of the public can vote online for their favourite team.

Just ahead of the awards ceremony, visitors to the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, as well as the general public, will get the chance to try out all the games for free in the special‘Dare ProtoPlay’ showcase event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (10-12 August).



About Rockstar North: Developers of original game titles, including the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto and the Manhunt series of games. Their most recent titles include the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto IV which became the highest grossing entertainment product of all time for an opening week and the all time best selling Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. They also extended the series onto the PlayStation Portable handheld platform with Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories developed in partnership with Rockstar Leeds. To date the Grand Theft Auto series has sold well over 70 million copies world wide and countless awards including six BAFTAs. Rockstar North works closely with its publishing partner Rockstar Games and has been part of the Rockstar family of developers since 1999. Rockstar North is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Take Two Interactive Software Inc.

Host centres for Dare to be Digital 2008: Dundee, Birmingham, Brighton, London and Dublin. In each centre, teams will have access to desk-space and computer equipment, and will receive financial support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists throughout the 10-week competition.

Universities represented in the Dare 2008 teams: Abertay, Brunel, Birmingham, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Edinburgh, Image college of Arts, Animation&Technology at Chennai, London Metropolitan, Napier, Westminster, London South Bank, Beijing, Portsmouth, Norwich School of Art and Design, Ulster, and Wolverhampton

Broadcast sponsors: Channel 4 (lead sponsors), BBC, Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc

Public agency support: London Development Agency, Screen West Midlands / Advantage West Midlands, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Scottish Government, Belfast City Council, The Digital Hub, Intertrade Ireland, Department of Education and Science Ireland, IDA Ireland, Dundee City Council.

Technology and software providers: Autodesk, Microsoft, Philips amBX, Nokia.

Game developer and publisher community supporters: Activision / DemonWare, Blackrock Studios, Blitz, Bizarre Creations, Codemasters, Cohort, Denki, Eidos, Genuine Games, Microsoft, NCR, NCsoft , Proper Games, Rare, Realtime Worlds, Sega, Sports Interactive, Zoe Mode. All these above companies are supporting the teams through judging or mentoring, visits etc in some way


Media enquiries: Kevin Coe T: 01382 308223 M: 07850 904110

Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at