Game on! Abertay students help launch new games company

For immediate release: Sunday 7 November

Over 200 undergraduate Marketing students at the University of Abertay Dundee are helping to develop marketing ideas for a new computer games company, gaining crucial work experience as part of their course.

Play2Improve is launching a free online service to train people how to be competitive gamers. The project has been incubated in Abertay University, which is renowned for launching the world’s first computer games technology degree, and will launch at the NEoN digital arts festival on Thursday 11th November.

FPS Trainer is a free-to-use online game which develops players’ skills for hugely popular first-person shooter (FPS) games like Call of Duty, Halo and Quake by simulating live action and using learning tools based on psychological research. The tool has been developed with world champion gamer Paul McGarrity, and will make money through selling personal tuition and premium features.

Jason Turner, a Lecturer in Marketing at Abertay University, said:“Gaining real-world experience has never been more important. By letting our students work directly with a real company and offer real advice, they are learning exactly what’s involved in assessing a company’s needs, their marketplace and how to be successful.

“We ran a pilot of this scheme last year, and it went so well that now every undergraduate Marketing student is getting the chance to work with these real,‘live’ challenges as their coursework. FPS Trainer is a hugely enjoyable service with great market potential– and our students are helping decide how to launch it and grow a profitable user base.”

The BA (Hons) Marketing&Business students are working in teams to develop and pitch marketing ideas, which will be incorporated into the business. Following a successful test last year, where the students’ ideas were a direct influence on business strategy, all undergraduate Marketing students are now working on this exciting‘live’ case study.

Matt Seeney, Play2Improve Chief Executive, added:“Being based in Abertay University has been a great help while we develop and put the finishing touches to FPS Trainer. As well as the great facilities and easy access to computer games experts, having more than 200 students prepare marketing ideas for us is incredible!

“First-person shooters are incredibly popular games, but are fiercely competitive online. It can be very disheartening for inexperienced gamers to jump straight into a game like Quake Live and play online against very experienced gamers, some of whom might even be full-time professionals. By providing interactive training, FPS Trainer is much, much more sophisticated than the basic tutorial levels in games.

“Using computer gaming technology, psychological research and the skills of a world champion gamer, we’ve developed a truly unique service that will help gamers improve their skills, and enjoy their gaming even more. We might even help create a new world champion!”

FPS Trainer is now available to play at http://www.fpstrainer.com for gamers who register for free online.

It will be available for the public to play at a special preview event as part of the NEoN digital arts festival at Abertay University on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th November.

Using‘live’ case studies for student assessment is now a permanent feature of the BA (Hons) Marketing&Business. There are also plans to develop the model– which has been used successfully before in Abertay’s computer games courses– for other business courses.

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For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer)– T: 01382 308935 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk 


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