Electronic Arts has given $8 million to the University of Southern California to fund a games-focused master's degree program within USC's prestigious School of Cinema-Television. With demand being so high for cutting-edge games, and the talent behind the creation of such cutting-edge games being few and far between, EA looks at this as an investment in their own future.
Along with the supply and demand objective being addressed, EA is also hoping "to help put game development on the same intellectual footing, with the same social stature, as popular arts such as film and broadcasting."
The games program, which will take three years and lead to a master of fine arts degree, will focus on storytelling and writing. This is a different approach than that of some other programs where there is more attention paid to graphics and software innovations. Janet Murray, the director of Georgia Tech's graduate program in information design and technology states such a prgram is, "going to result in a greater range of expressiveness for games, and that's good news culturally."
Don Mattrick, president of EA Worldwide Studios, is joining the cinema and TV school's board of councilors, whose members include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis.