Gearbox Software (Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway, Borderlands
) has pledged nearly $50,000 in scholarship and support to help establish the Fellows Scholarship program at The Guildhall
, a specialized graduate school for game development, at Southern Methodist University. The Plano, Texas-based video game developer has also said it will donate an audio lab to the graduate school and provide professional mentors for the students during their 17 months of study.
Randy Pitchford, Gearbox CEO and president, said the company's support was driven by the game industry's need for qualified employees. "The only thing growing faster than our industry is the critical need for new and creative talent," Pitchford said in a press release. "I think it is clear that the video game industry has the vast financial support and consumer demand it needs to continue its global growth. But what I and many industry leaders are very worried about is hiring and retaining world class talent. That's why programs like The Guildhall at SMU need our support."
Since The Guildhall began in 2004, 15 SMU graduates have been hired at Gearbox, according to official statements.
"It doesn't really surprise me that Randy was the first industry leader to support our Fellows Scholars program," Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, said. "Randy was instrumental in the formation of our program and has been a huge supporter. He believes, as we do, that we need to find ways to ensure financial barriers do not stand in the way for the very best students to attend our program and become contributing professionals and future leaders in the dynamic video games industry."