BATON ROUGE, La. (Press Release) — Today at the Louisiana Entertainment Summit, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios announced it will host a hands-on game development camp in New Orleans, beginning April 21, 2020. The Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Powered by Unity is open to aspiring game developers of all skill levels, including artists, musicians, project managers and many other disciplines.
Microsoft created the Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Powered by Unity to inspire adults in greater New Orleans to realize their potential in the gaming industry through unique learning experiences from industry leaders. Camp details and application information may be found at xbox.com/gamecamp. The six-month event will be conducted in partnership with Louisiana Economic Development, Greater New Orleans Inc. and the New Orleans Business Alliance.
“Louisiana continues to be a premier destination for entertainment production, and that includes our growing digital media sector,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We are happy to welcome Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios to Louisiana to host this exciting Game Camp in New Orleans. Video game development and other digital media production are an important part of our state’s entertainment program, and this is a fine opportunity for aspiring young developers to hone their skills with some of the best in the business.”
inXile Games, part of Xbox Game Studios, launched a studio in New Orleans in 2015 and currently employs more than 40 people locally. Jeff Strain, studio head for Xbox Game Studios’ Undead Labs, also recently announced plans to personally fund and create a vocational school focused on video games in the area.
“Extraordinary talent exists everywhere, but not everyone has the access or means to pursue their passions,” said Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft. “By attending Game Camp in New Orleans, aspiring developers will learn how to make games in a collaborative and supportive setting, mentored by senior video game developers from Xbox Game Studios and Unity Technologies.”
State, regional and local economic development organizations in Louisiana have fostered a business environment that supports a strong technology and gaming ecosystem. Today’s announcement highlighted the third annual Louisiana Entertainment Summit in Baton Rouge, where featured speakers and panels of industry experts discussed video game, motion picture and music production in the state.
Game Camp participants will break into teams based on aligned interests and preferred development platform, and will work together in a shared studio space to create games under the guidance of Microsoft and Unity mentors. Xbox Game Studios and program partners will facilitate workshops on various game development topics throughout the program. Game Camp will conclude with a Sept. 24 Games Expo in which participants will share their games with established industry professionals.
The Xbox Game Studios Game Camp is powered by Unity, creator of the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform. As part of Unity’s participation in Game Camp, the company will be providing access to Unity licenses for each developer to use, ongoing on-site technical support and access to Unity’s team of experts via in-person workshops.
“We’re witnessing a shift in the way the economy is moving, making real-time 3D skills absolutely imperative for those both entering into the workforce now and continuing into the workforce of tomorrow,” said Jessica Lindl, vice president and global head of education at Unity Technologies. “It’s critical that we empower workers with the technical skills that will be demanded of them as we move towards an increasingly technology-driven future. Working with Microsoft and state regional organizations to ensure adults in Louisiana are prepared for this shift is incredibly rewarding and we’re excited to see the projects that are created at the end of Game Camp.”
Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, will provide 3D tools for camp participants and will host instructional workshops during the camp.
“Microsoft’s Game Development Camp coming to New Orleans is a major validation of our tech and gaming sector, one of the top 10 fastest growing in the United States,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “It is also a huge opportunity for locals to acquire the skills – from one of the biggest companies in the world – in order to get jobs in this sector. Microsoft’s investment in Greater New Orleans has driven company growth, and now will drive jobs for locals; GNO Inc. is proud to support this initiative.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Microsoft’s Game Camp to New Orleans as the first U.S. location for this initiative,” said President and CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “Microsoft’s investment in inXile’s New Orleans studio, coupled with this Game Camp initiative, proves that technology leaders see New Orleans as a strong business environment ripe with opportunities to access the growing tech talent base. Each investment made within our tech sector augments our momentum as one of the fastest-growing tech markets in the country.
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