DALLAS (May 9, 2012) – Epic Games’ founder and chief executive officer, Tim Sweeney, will be the commencement speaker at the 15 th graduation ceremony of students at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University on May 11.
As the most recent inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame and creator of the cutting-edge Unreal Engine, Sweeney is a recognized leader of innovation in the industry whose vision continues to drive change and growth.
“We are delighted to have Tim Sweeney as our featured graduation speaker,” Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, said. “Tim is a true icon of the video game industry and one of its long-standing leaders, as attested to by his recent induction into the AIAS Hall of Fame. Guildhall students have been using the Unreal Engine since our founding in 2003, and as such Tim has played an important and continuing role in the formation of our students. It is then fitting and an honor that we get Tim to help us launch the next generation of professionals and leaders into the video game industry.”
Having studied mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, Sweeney founded Epic Games in 1991 with the release of his first shareware game, “ZZT .” In 1996, two years prior to the release of the original “Unreal” game, Epic began licensing its Unreal Engine toolset to other developers. Since that time, the Unreal Engine has been used to create hundreds of games, including Epic’s own bestselling “Unreal Tournament,” “Gears of War” and “Infinity Blade” series of games.
“Graduates of The Guildhall at SMU’s rigorous program show an exemplary level of commitment to pursuing a career in game development,” said Sweeney. “I look forward to recognizing their achievements and sharing what we at Epic have found to be critical to success in a constantly evolving marketplace.”
About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its “Unreal” series, including “Unreal Tournament 3” for PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. The first two games in Epic’s "Gears of War" franchise have sold more than 13 million copies and won more than 50 game of the year awards. The third installment, “Gears of War 3,” sold more than 3 million copies within its first week of release, catapulting the franchise beyond $1 billion in lifetime sales. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 holds more than 20 industry technology awards and powers many bestselling games. Additional information about Epic can be obtained at www.epicgames.com.
About The Guildhall at SMU
The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is one of the premier graduate video game education programs in the US. Many of the school’s founders are industry leaders, and classes are taught by industry veterans. Since 2005, the program has graduated more than 420 students, and alumni are working at more than 150 video game studios around the world. SMU offers a Master’s degree in Interactive Technology and a graduate Professional Certificate.