Microsoft launches Xbox Academy, a new, free virtual workshop for aspiring game devs

The sessions are "designed to inspire the next generation of games creators".

Microsoft has announced Xbox Academy, a new, free games development tutorial "designed to inspire the next generation of games creators, and to give them an insight into game design and development".

The free digital workshop kicks off later this month in September, and is said to be "one of many" virtual workshops being offered by Microsoft in a bid to "inspire, serve and help upskill customers, small businesses and communities through learning and technology".

Run by East London Arts and Music (ELAM), Games London, and Playground Games, the virtual workshop will introduce students to the fundamentals of game design, including an overview of how UK based Playground Games "approaches game design for acclaimed titles like the Forza Horizon franchise".

Participants will also learn more about the game development process and developer tools like Unity.

"I'm thrilled that Playground Games is part of Xbox Academy and that our team members Maria Lee and Ryan Greene can share their experience and knowledge with games creators," said Gavin Raeburn, studio director of Playground Games. "As a team, we are passionate about fostering new talent in the industry, such as with our 12-month placement scheme for university students from relevant courses. This event is another great way that we can pass on some of the expertise within the studio to inspire the next generation of game creators."

"It's a real pleasure to work with the talented people of Playground Games and Microsoft Store in delivering these sessions," added Curtis Le Blanc, director of games at East London Arts and Music. "Many of the students at ELAM have started their education in games development and other areas based on the inspiration from industry leaders just like the people at Playground, so we know that sessions like this are invaluable in ensuring the huge opportunities for growth and employment in the UK are fulfilled."

Spaces are reportedly limited, so to get involved head to the official website to register for one of four sessions offered online across 12th and 13th September. Participants need to be at least 16 years old to take part.

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Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake


When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.


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