But Leeds University says its new world leading study programme will provide students with technical skills which are desperately needed by the country’s gaming industry.
Academics have worked with several Yorkshire-based companies to develop new programmes in high performance graphics and games engineering.
The move comes after warnings that a severe technical skills shortage could compromise the gaming industry’s contribution to the UK economy and leave it trailing in an expanding global industry predicted to reach $113 billion by 2018. The new qualifications has involved Leeds firms Barog Game Labs who recently worked on projects for Sony’s Play Station 4 and Weaseltron, who consulted on the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Barog Game Labs director Simon Barratt said: “There are plenty of high-level university courses that teach students how to develop games, but there are very few in the UK and indeed the world that deliver anything like the level of technical skills that are needed to innovate with graphics, simulation and engine development techniques.
“There’s an urgent and growing skills crisis – that’s why we were keen to work with the University of Leeds to help put a programme together.”
Students will visit games companies and attend games events as part of their studies.
David Duke, head of the university’s School of Computing said: “Gaming is such a fast-paced sector and continually benefits from rapidly evolving computer technologies. It needs graduates with the right mix of deep academic knowledge and hands-on experience who understand how to generate new levels of visual realism and effects on cutting-edge hardware platforms and write the rendering engines that will power the next generation of games.”