Electronic Arts (EA) announced recently that it has made amulti-million dollar donation to the USC School ofCinema-Television (USC-CNTV) to advance interactive media educationand create a launch pad for the next generation of interactiveentertainment.
The contribution, part of EA`s global educational and talentdevelopment effort, will fund two new facets of USC-CNTV`s Divisionof Interactive Media: the Electronic Arts Interactive EntertainmentProgram and the Electronic Arts Endowed Faculty Chair. The EAInteractive Entertainment Program is a 3-year Master of Fine Artsdegree program. The program will help forward USC-CNTV`s goal toeducate the next generation of high-level gaming design andvisionary thinkers in what will be one of the 21st Century`sprimary entertainment media.
”The School`srich storytelling tradition and long-standing commitment totechnological experimentation make it an ideal partner for EA,”said Don Mattrick, President, Electronic Arts Worldwide tudios.”This is an excellent opportunity for EA to invest in the futureof the industry by providing today`s students with the skills andknowledge they will need to push technology and entertainmentforward.”
Mattrick, thenewest appointee to the School`s Board of Councilors, will be partof a high-profile team — the ranks of which include entertainmentgiants Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Lucas, Steven pielberg, JohnWells, and Robert Zemeckis — that will work to ensure thatinteractive media studies at USC continues to move confidently inthe direction of growth and innovation.
”This giftclearly demonstrates EA`s commitment to expanding the frontiers ofgame design, and to developing a well rounded, highly skilled, andforward-thinking talent base overall,” said Elizabeth M. Daley,Dean, USC School of Cinema-Television. ”The School`s position asan international academic leader is further solidified by itsrelationship with the world`s number-one interactive entertainmentdeveloper — a partnership that will set new standards ofexcellence in a field that is truly changing global culture.”
The EA giftwill fuel the growth of the School`s Interactive Media Division`sgaming component, and enable the Division, headed by Scott Fisher,to define and expand this nascent, multi-faceted field. With theaid of these funds, the School will grow its efforts to graduatestudents who are visionary thinkers, but who also have a deepunderstanding of the crafts and skills required to produce qualitycontent for a diverse media array.
Specifically,the Electronic Arts Interactive Entertainment Program will spawnthe creation of a curriculum and research lab to explore theboundaries of interactive entertainment and to study the emergingdiscipline of game development. The gift will enable the creationof an intra-USC gaming community that will bring together creativeand technical expertise in cinema-television, the arts, andtechnical sciences, and will provide students with invaluablereal-world experience through internships and work-study programsat EA, including its newest LosAngeles campus.
The ElectronicArts Chair will enable the Division to meet the intensifying demandfor talented game developers who are solidly grounded in story andcontent. The endowed funds to support faculty specializing in gamedevelopment elevates the field into the ranks of other professions,such as law and engineering, worthy of scholarly study andspecialized training.
”It`sastonishing how quickly games have become an essential part of theentertainment arts, and there is no better place than USC tonurture the creative and conceptual thinkers who will take themedium to places we can only imagine,” said USC alumnus GeorgeLucas, a longtime supporter of the School of Cinema-Television, thefounder of game-design studio LucasArts and the filmmaker behindthe Star Wars series. ”USC is a major force in cinema education,and thanks to Electronic Arts, it can become a leader ininteractive arts education as well.”
”To create thenext generation of entertainment, we need the next generation oftalent,” said Rusty Rueff, Executive Vice President of HumanResources, Electronic Arts. ”Melding storytelling, art, music,game design, and technology has become so complex that it isimperative for tomorrow`s designers and producers to acquire aneducation with both depth and breadth in order to achieve successin our ever-growing industry.”
”Our newdevelopment studio in Playa Del Rey and this investment reflectEA`s long term commitment to Los Angeles and Southern California,”said John Batter, Vice President and General Manager, ElectronicArts Los Angeles. ”We are proud to be expanding our presencewithin the region by fostering creativity through education and bystimulating current and future growth within the entertainment
Electronic ArtsInc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is theworld`s leading interactive entertainment software company. Foundedin 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of $2.5 billion for fiscal2003. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactivesoftware worldwide for video game systems, personal computers andthe Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under threebrand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM), and EA SPORTS BIG(TM).EA`s homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More informationabout EA`s products and full text of press releases can be found onthe Internet at http://info.ea.com.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and EA GAMES aretrademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in theU.S. and/orother countries. All other trademarks are the property of theirrespective owners.
About the USC School of Cinema-Television
In 2004, the USC School of Cinema-Television celebrates 75 years oftraining the next generation of creative talent and scholars infilm, television, and new media. Co-founded by the University ofSouthern California and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts andSciences in 1929, the School offered the first bachelor`s degree infilm in the country and today is consistently ranked as the topprogram of its kind. Its more than 8,000 graduates — the ranks ofwhich include such stellar figures as Scott Alexander and LarryKaraszewski, Ron Howard, James Ivory, Randal Kleiser, George Lucas,Michelle Manning, Bill Mechanic, Neal Moritz, Walter Murch, JayRoach, Gary Rydstrom, Edward Saxon, Stacey Sher, Bryan Singer, JohnSingleton, Robert Zemeckis, and Laura Ziskin — are among theentertainment industry`s most distinguished animators, scholars,teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors,sound experts and industry executives.