University of Texas at Austin Partners with Video Game Executives to Create Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

The University of Texas at Austin has partnered with video game industry leaders Warren Spector and Paul Sams to create the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, the first video game program in the U.S. led and taught by gaming industry executives.

Spector (M.A., Radio-Television-Film ’80) will guide the curriculum and both he and Sams will serve as part-time instructors for the academy, which begins in the fall of 2014. The academy seeks to support economic growth of the gaming industry in Texas and beyond by creating the unique focus of training students to become game development team leaders.

Spector is a 30-year veteran of the video game industry and is known for his work on the “Ultima,” “System Shock,” “Deus Ex” and the “Disney Epic Mickey” game series. He has worked on more than 20 production teams as a designer, director and producer.

Sams is chief operating officer and a 17-year veteran of Blizzard Entertainment where he is responsible for the company’s global business operations. During Sams’ tenure, the company has produced some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful game franchises including “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “StarCraft” and “World of Warcraft.” Sams also shares responsibility for the growth of one of the largest online gaming services in the world, the company’s Battle.net. [Read more...]

Mega Nabs Warcraft, Starcraft Licenses

Mega Brands and Blizzard Entertainment have announced a licensing partnership to create Warcraft- and Starcraft-themed construction sets that will be available next summer. The gaming hit World of Warcraft remains the most popular online multi-player, role-playing game in the world, while the second installment in the Starcraft series (Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty) is the fastest selling, real-time strategy game of all time. The first construction toy sets from this deal will be based on iconic locations, characters, and vehicles from the two games.