Barclays and NSE Announce the Games Innovation Challenge

Barclays and NSE (National Student Esports), the official body for university esports in the UK, have announced the first Games Innovation Challenge, a games development competition for students across the UK to test their skills and creativity.

From January the 14th, participants will have nine weeks to create the most innovative and competitive games with the chance to win a portion of the £5,000 prize pool. The winning prize is £3,000, with second and third place prizes of £1,250 and £750 respectively.

“We are extremely excited to announce this new challenge with Barclays,” said Alex Coulson, managing director at NSE. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for students to apply their academic learning and develop their collaborative skills. The Games Innovation Challenge is a great way for students to test their creativity and showcase their passion with the added benefit of improving their employment prospects post graduation. We couldn’t be happier to be working with Barclays on this project as they continue to show their dedication and support for the UK grassroots gaming & esports communities.”

The theme for the inaugural challenge is ‘competitive games’, and each submission is required to showcase an original concept with the goal of pitting players against each other. Students are also encouraged to submit a plan on how a competition of their proposed game would be run.

Teams can be formed of students from different universities and also contain non-students, but in order to be eligible to compete, the majority of the team and the project lead must be enrolled at university. Any platform and prebuilt assets can be used, provided that they have the permission or license to do so.

A panel of gaming and esports industry experts will be judging the entries on five criteria; technical quality, aesthetic, entertainment, innovation and competition plan.

Applications will open on 14th January 2021, with a closing date of 18th March 2021. The winner will be announced on the 9th of April 2021. Submissions and the participant pack can be found here.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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