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Welcome to Gamebridge – ARU to host free festival

Published: 5 June 2024 at 15:30

Gaming controller

Event aims to remove barriers for anyone interested in a career in the games industry

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is hosting a festival to help young people plan their careers in the games industry, which is one of the fastest growing creative sectors in the UK.

The Gamebridge Student Games Festival is taking place at ARU’s Cambridge campus on Saturday, 15 June, and will bring together experts, leading games design companies and students from across the country.

The event is designed to showcase the UK’s student games talent and support students entering the games industry, which as a sector increased by over 4% last year and is now worth almost £8 billion per year to the UK economy, with game software sales accounting for over £5 billion of this.

The Gamebridge Festival aims to ensure that a career in games design is open to everyone – it’s free to attend and there is a bursary to help with travel costs as well as free local bus travel for students courtesy of Stagecoach.

The event will feature talks from industry leaders, recruitment booths, bookable 1-to-1s, and other networking opportunities, and there will be over £5,000 of prizes on offer for the best and most innovative student work, which can be submitted in advance via https://itch.io/jam/gamebridge-2024  

Last year’s event saw 214 students attend from 43 universities and colleges. The students were joined by industry experts from 14 different games companies and there were 134 portfolio reviews and 1-to-1 chats on the day.

Gamebridge Trustee Michael Farrow-Killick, Games Development Course Lead and Lecturer at Cambridge Regional College said:

“Last year, the Gamebridge Festival brought together young people from universities and Further Education colleges across the country to exhibit their amazing work, demonstrating what makes games design such a powerful and creative sector. 

“As well as the support and advice on offer at the festival, the generous sponsorship of £5,000 of prizes by games companies is a fantastic investment in talent, encouraging students to keep developing their skills and creating exciting new things.”

Dr Baris Isikguner, Principal Lecturer in Computer Games and Deputy Head of the Cambridge School of Creative Industries at ARU, said:

“ARU is delighted to be working with the Gamebridge team once again to help develop the games industry pipeline by supporting future talent. 

“ARU aims to equip young people with the skills and knowledge needed to access incredible careers, and the advice, guidance and industry mentoring that’s available through the Gamebridge Festival helps with this.”

Games companies attending Gamebridge this year include Frontier Developments, Jagex, Rocksteady, Airship Interactive, Mooncolony, Sumo Sheffield, XR Games and Dlala. The Gamebridge Student Games Festival is open to anyone aged 17 and over, and further information can be found at http://www.gamebridge.uk