Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri recently inaugurated the new premises of the Institute of Digital Games at the University of Malta.
During the inauguration, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said that education is at the core of Malta’s vision for Video Game Development and eSports, “The expansion of the Instiute for Digital Games to this new building is a step in the right direction for the University of Malta to continue to excel in the educational programmes provided at Post Grad M.Sc and Doctorate levels.”
Schembri commended the efforts being made by GamingMalta in such a short time, with Malta’s first Game Development and eSports expo, Playcon happening next week. He said that thousands of students would be attending for educational sessions at Playcon which will serve as a platform were the video game industry unites to showcase the games produced, the career opportunities in this sector and the employers present in Malta. Playcon, which is being organised at the MFCC between the 3rd and 6th October as part of the Malta Tech Week, will also feature eSports competitions, game experiences and digital entertainment.
Director of the Institute of Digital Games Prof. Giorgios Yannakakis said that the Malta Government’s vision for Video Game Development and eSports compliments the vision of the institute he leads, “As an Institute, our vision is to bolster research, game studies and Artificial Intelligence. We have grown in a span of 6 years from 5 academics to more than 20 academics and researchers. Today the institute has 30 students at following an M.Sc Programme and seven others pursuing a Ph.D with the institute.”
Rector of the University of Malta Prof. Alfred Vella emphasised the importance for the University to keep working closely with the industry in order to create programmes that fit the needs of the now better, but more crucially of the future, “When it comes to digital games, we have a world-class post-graduate research institute right here where we stand today. Digital games are not a single discipline and the institute works together with the departments throughout the whole University”, said Prof. Vella.
Head of Operations and Business Development for Gaming Malta Ivan Filletti said that Malta is not just a centre or a hub for such industry, but a home, “We have a thirst for talent. We want to work closely with the sector to attract key talent to Malta. Creativity needs an infrastructure, an environment backed by government policies which will help hard earned creative efforts come to light and succeed.”