Paul Durant, of UK Games Fund initiative Tranzfuser, has called upon UK universities to examine their game-specific qualifications and accreditations, asking whether overly specific educational courses are limiting the potential of the UK's graduate developers.
It's a problem he's witnessed first-hand. Tranzfuser is a scheme, funded by the UK government, which is aiming to help teams of graduates gain real-world experience by bringing a game to market. Small budgets of £5000 are distributed to the teams involved, with a prize of £25,000 going to the winners. Part of the focus of the program is to reward teams who are formed from diverse skillsets, working together to cross-pollinate their abilities.
Durant believes siloed accreditation discourages this - something he says could be playing a part in the fact that there have been more international winning teams for BAFTA's One To Watch graduate category than ones from the UK itself. (It's worth noting that BAFTA also runs a separate Breakthrough Brits award for homegrown talent across several media.)
"We're really keen to show what UK graduates can achieve against a backdrop of UK teams falling short in the Ones to Watch Award. BAFTA has done a tremendous job in celebrating international talent through the award but we have to ask why more UK teams haven't made the grade in this way" says Durrant. "Is one of the downsides of accrediting games courses that teams are working in silos rather than a broader range of experiences? Are graduate teams not getting the opportunity to work outside their circles of trust? "Tranzfuser is aiming to encourage and celebrate diverse teams and one of the reasons we are experimenting with blockchain-enabled smart contracts is that we want to start a movement towards teams operating outside their trust circles"
The deadline for applications for the Tranzfuser programme is April 15, 2016. Teams looking to find out more about applying can do so here.