EA UK's Guildford studio will host the London and South East centre for 2007's Dare to be Digital competition.The collaboration has come about via a partnership between organiser Abertay University, EA, NESTA, the London Development Agency, South East Media Network and chip company AMD.
Four teams of five students each will be selected to spend the first nine weeks of the 10-week Dare to be Digital competition at the Guildford studio. Candidates are asked to spend the time developing a prototype for a game concept - with ideas and projects judged during the final week during an event held in Scotland.
The competition has been running for eight years - but this marks the first time the event has spread outside of its Scottish base, with the centre in the south joining other schemes designed to attract students from around the world. Previous entrants have gone on to work at Rockstar, EA and Lionhead or start their own studios.
Richard Leinfellner, a Vice President at EA, commented: “Dare to be Digital represents a unique model for showcasing young talent to the UK games industry. It has acted as a much needed incubator for new talent and one which EA has been proud to be associated with for a number of years.
“As industry leaders, we are committed to stimulating innovation in game making and encouraging the next generation of talent in the UK. The Dare model of setting teams up to deliver a real game prototype in 10 weeks is similar to the process we go through when getting games into production. It promotes teamwork and is very much in keeping with many of our own values.”
Tom Campbell, head of creative industries at the LDA said: "There's a great pool of undiscovered talent within London's universities and colleges. Dare is fantastic at discovering and fostering talent and helping aspiring game developers rise to the surface. The LDA is proud to support the first Southern heat and we hope the eventual winning team originates from the London region!"
Paul Durrant, Dare to be Digital project director at Abertay University, commented: “This is truly exciting news. The teams that take part in Dare in London and the South East will provide a valuable local talent pool and potential start-up business to the region. ”