New routes into gaming with Supermassive Games

We all have a part to play in creating a more inclusive gaming industry. We are launching a PhD opportunity for Black heritage students to work with us – a BAFTA-award winning independent games company – to deliver action research that will help propel the industry to a more inclusive future. Interested? 

Here’s Pete and Joe Samuels, co-founders of Supermassive Games, to tell us more about who they are, why this PhD is so important, and how you can get involved…

Who are Supermassive Games?  

Supermassive Games was founded in 2008. It’s incredible and humbling to think that we are now home to over 200 talented individuals. We have released a number of successful titles, but you probably know us from Until Dawn – for which we won a BAFTA – and the recently launched The Dark Pictures Anthology.  You may have also experienced Until Dawn; Rush of Blood on VR too. But even if you have never played any of our games that shouldn’t put you off. It’s the people behind the games that we are most proud of – from the artists to programmers, producers to audio and everything in between.  

What needs to change?   

The specific events of 2020, that highlighted the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, motivated us at Supermassive Games to identify meaningful and active support that we could provide. We wanted to take actions that would have an impact and make a difference.    

“Deeds not words”  

We wanted to create an opportunity for a talented student to understand what can be done to promote greater inclusion and participation in the game development and related commercial ecosystem.   

“We are deeply committed to transforming our industry to become more inclusive” 

So, we are delighted to announce the Supermassive Games PhD Studentship. This will be exclusively open to people of Black heritage, and we hope it will help improve representation in the postgraduate and research community as well as eventually providing role models in senior academic positions.   

To fully understand the problem and to make practical and effective changes within the industry, this studentship will be a form of action research. That means rather than waiting 3 years for the findings, your research will involve trialing solutions in real time, learning about what works, and trying again. We are excited to support research that addresses issues head on in situ.  

Two colleagues sat at their desk working and laughing

How we will support you    

“Our studio doors are always open” 

One key area of the Supermassive Games PhD Studentship is the support we are planning. We are keen to help introduce you into our networks and to help in any way we can. It’s important to us that you feel supported, networked, and have access to opportunities during your studies. The studio doors will be open for you at any time. The Studentship will cover a full annual stipend of £15,609 each year, fees (so you don’t have to pay for your education) and annual research fund (to ensure you can access training opportunities or pay for practical things related to your studies like equipment, travel or transcription services).  

You will also benefit from:   

  • Access to the independent gaming industry via our networks 
  • Membership of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership, providing access to numerous benefits including free training, contacts across four universities, cohort building, and access to partners   
  • Membership of the Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) – an interdisciplinary research institute which aims to fundamentally transform the way we create new digital technology for inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies. The Institute spans all university faculties and was founded in 2019 following a £100m investment by Research England.    
  • Access to BDFI’s network of 27 partners, and opportunities to work with them to deliver your research 

We are incredibly excited by the Supermassive Games PHD Studentship.  Whether you’ve never thought about a PHD, or have been planning for this since you were 7 years old, please apply.    

Pete and Joe Samuels,   

Founders – Supermassive Games  

 This blog was originally posted by Supermassive, click here to read the original