DALLAS, TEXAS - November 14, 2008 - Despite the nation’s economic meltdown in October and announced cutbacks at some video game development studios, attendance at the recent Career Fair for The Guildhall at SMU graduating students and alums demonstrated demand remains strong for top creative talent.
Eighteen video game studios and publishers from across the country came November 6-7 to interview nearly 50 SMU graduate students and alums for positions in art creation, level design and software development. Twenty percent of the interviewees have already been offered positions.
“The NPD Group reported this week that U.S. video game industry sales are up 26 percent for the first nine months of 2008,” Dr. Peter Raad, executive director and founder of The Guildhall at SMU, said.“According to leaders in the video game industry, the need for new creative talent remains the top challenge for their companies.”
“This was our second career event at SMU and we are again very pleased with the caliber of talent available,” Tammy Boyd-Shumway, human resources director, ZeniMax Media Inc., said.“The faculty, which is made up of game industry veterans, is doing a fantastic job with the students in their graduate program.”
“We have hired some SMU grads and the thing we like best is the SMU Master’s program produces graduates with skills that are equivalent to candidates who have had a couple of years experience in the industry,“ she added.“From their first day of work, they are ready to sit down at their desk and be a productive member of the team.”
Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media Company, is the developer of Fallout 3®, which shipped approximately 4.7 million units of Fallout 3 last week, representing retail sales of over $300 million.
Raad explained that one of the reasons SMU’s career events are so well attended is that in five short years, the program has graduated over 230 students who have worked at more than 80 studios around the world.
“We are really fortunate to have a large footprint in the industry with our alums. Our graduates are our strongest statement about the quality of our program and our brand,” Raad said.
Publishers and studios who attended the event included: Activision, Big Huge Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Budcat Creations, Edge of Reality, Ltd., Electronic Arts (EA), Foundation 9 Entertainment, Gearbox Software, id Software, Microsoft Game Studios, Midnight Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, Red Fly Studio, Retro Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Terminal Reality, THQ ,Big Huge Games, Timegate Studios and ZeniMax Media Inc.
About The Guildhall at SMU: The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is the premier graduate video game education program in the US. Many of the school’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. In five short years the program has graduated over 230 students and alums have worked at more than 80 video game studios around the world. SMU offers both a Master’s degree and a graduate Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in art creation, level design, and software development. For more information, visit guildhall.smu.edu.
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