Three teams from Wrexham Glyndwr University have been shortlisted for the second annual Tranzfuser programme, held in association with UK Games Talent and Finance CIC (UKGTF).
Made up of alumni and final year students, the groups will be awarded £5000 each to turn their prototypes into exhibition-ready demo products along with developing business plans for a future commercial release. Ethereal Games, Round Square Studios and Static Shell Studios will represent the north east Wales institution.
Rich Hebblewhite, a senior lecturer in Computing and programme leader for Computer Game Development at the University, will be coordinating one of only 12 Regional Tranzfuser Hubs in the UK.
Speaking about the achievement, he said those involved have already benefited from the degree’s unique Business Accelerator initiative, which allows students to gain valuable experience of the game development process and the management of a game studio, supported by peers from the North Wales Business School.
“All three groups have applied for the first time and all three have got through, so this is fabulous news for the University,” said Rich, who is organiser of the popular Level-Up games expo.
“They have skill and expertise in developing a video game, but both Tranzfuser and our own accelerator programme bring the commercial aspect of the industry to the fore, developing a business plan alongside the product.
“They then start to think like a company, which will be of value to them when they move forwards in their careers.” He added: “We will be supporting them with space in our business incubation centre (Enterprise Lounge), along with dedicated mentoring and business support from our Zone Enterprise Hub”. The 10-week Tranzfuser initiative begins this month, culminating in a full exhibition at EGX 2017, the UK’s biggest games event, where alongside exhibiting their games, they will pitch their business plans to a panel of experts for the chance to receive a further grant of up to £25,000.
Deborah Farley, Tranzfuser’s head of talent and outreach, said the standard of applicants was “very high” across the board and announced Wrexham Glyndwr would be one of a new network of local games hubs. “After much deliberation I am pleased that 23 teams have been selected to take part in this year’s competition, an increase of five from last year,” she said.
“We’re also pleased to welcome five institutions to our network of local hubs to take part in Tranzfuser for the first time. Their fresh insight will help build on the quality of professionalism and support that was so invaluable to our teams in 2016.”
Rich added: “The games industry in North Wales is very much embryonic, and becoming a Tranzfuser hub is a natural step forward in terms of helping to broaden our own business development goals, and to widen participation and empower graduates to further develop their own games studios. “As the Tranzfuser Hub Coordinator, I’m looking forward to working with the wider Tranzfuser community as we look to strengthen the UK games industry starting at the grass roots level.”