The grant enables the GGDA to support professors and teachers in teaching the powerful Unreal game engine, responsible for some of the most popular games and movies in the world.
“The Unreal engine has become not only the standard for making games, but also for previsualizing movies, creating great architecture designs, making great television shows and more,” said Andrew Greenberg, executive director of the GGDA. “Unreal has become one of the most valuable skills new graduates can know when they seek jobs in these fields.”
With its Epic Megagrants, Epic Games has committed $100 million to support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers “doing amazing things with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.”
“At Epic we succeed when developers succeed,” said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney in an interview with GamesBeat. “With Epic MegaGrants we’re reinvesting in all areas of the Unreal Engine development community and also committing to accelerate the open sourcing of content, tools, and knowledge.”
“The GGDA applied for the grant because the need for skilled Unreal developers has far outstripped the current supply,” said Greenberg. “Georgia companies like Hi-Rez Studios, Tripwire Interactive, the Weather Channel, Pinewood Atlanta Studios and more rely on this technology, and offer great opportunities to recent grads who can use it well. “
“This grant is a testament to the cutting-edge training opportunities that the Georgia Game Developers Association and Epic Games are providing to our state’s professors and teachers, and it will help them prepare even more students for these in-demand careers in gaming and software development,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Esports continues to flourish in Georgia, and we appreciate the continued investments by both the State of Georgia and our private sector partners in the industry’s growth through educational programs.”
The training sessions will be conducted via livestreams, allowing the GGDA to train teachers around the world. GGDA’s partners for this grant include Hi-Rez Studios, Tripwire Interactive, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University, Design Research Consultancy, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the DeKalb County Entertainment Commission. Also serving as an advisor is Pinewood Atlanta Studios.
The Georgia Game Developers Association is the nonprofit trade association for Georgia-based businesses and professionals in the video game manufacturing industry. It supports its members with business opportunities, educational services, professional development and public affairs coordination.