Sony Interactive Entertainment pledges $3 million donation to USC game show

THE ANGELS–(COMMERCIAL WIRE)–Today, USC Games, ranked North America’s #1 game show by the Princeton Review for eleven years in a row, and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced a multi-year partnership beginning with a $3 million contribution to support to USC Games Gerald A. Lawson Fund with support from the PlayStation Career Pathways Program. The partnership cements SIE as an important partner in USC Games’ efforts to support Black and Indigenous students studying game design and development.

We are beyond excited to be one of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s partners and share their same vision to inspire and enable greater diversity within the gaming industry,” said Jim Huntley, USC Games professor and program marketing director. “Representation in the game. We hope that the USC Games Lawson Fund Supported by PlayStation Career Pathways Program will inspire other corporations, publishers and developers to reach out to us and invest in addressing a chronic problem the industry has struggled with since its inception.”

Ensuring that the gaming industry is diverse and inclusive is a key pillar of SIE’s core mission. As part of these efforts, SIE has implemented a portfolio of strategic partnerships to support the Black community and has established the PlayStation Careers Pathways program. The goal of this innovative program is to prepare the next generation of Black and other underrepresented talent who wish to pursue a career in the gaming industry.

The USC Games Lawson Fund is more than a scholarship,” said Tiffany Johnson, Senior Director and Global Head of DE&I at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “It is our commitment to create opportunities for Black and other unrepresented talent who want to enter the gaming industry. We have a responsibility to drive change and build an industry that is more diverse, inclusive and welcoming to all. This contribution is just one of many efforts and it all starts with investing in the next generation of talent and creating more exposure and visibility for underrepresented communities.”

For those who wish to donate and support future game designers and developers from underrepresented communities, donations can be made here: or by contacting Justin Wilson at jawilson@cinema.

The Gerald A. Lawson Fund supports African-American and Native American students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in computer science or game design from USC’s prestigious program. Endowment returns will support qualifying undergraduate and graduate gaming program students in both the School of Cinematic Arts and the Viterbi School of Engineering, beginning in the fall semester of 2022. SIE’s contribution will support the incoming students beginning in the fall of 2023. The donation will also fund the hiring of Black or Native American faculty, as well as a racial justice research initiative at USC Games to be announced in detail at a future date.

About USC Games

USC Games is a flagship collaboration offered jointly by the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media and Games Division (IMGD) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. This unified brand brings our programs under one umbrella, allowing University of Southern California students and faculty to collaborate together to create innovative games.

The USC School of Cinematic Arts program focuses on both the design and production of games and interactive media. Students emerge as creative media leaders, fluent in many forms of visual expression and storytelling, with a sophistication in designing and developing innovative interactive experiences that extend the state of the interactive art and play across domains such as entertainment, education, health care and social action. .

The Computer Science Games program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering provides students with a foundation in computer science fundamentals and interdisciplinary training in game development. Students emerge with an engineering-oriented game programming skill set, with an understanding of key technologies and the ability to lead complex technical teams in game development.

In addition to an advanced gaming class, USC Games hosts the annual USC Games Expo, an event showcasing games created at the university that is open to the public and also produces an industry event at the annual Game Developers Conference. USC Games also collaborates with game design programs at other colleges and universities. For more information, visit; or connect to [email protected].

About Sony Interactive Entertainment

Recognized as a world leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is responsible for the PlayStation® brand and family of products and services. PlayStation has brought innovation to the market since the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan in 1994. The PlayStation family of products and services includes PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®VR, PlayStation™Store, PlayStation®Plus and the acclaimed PlayStation PlayStation Studios software titles. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, SIE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation and has global operations in California, London and Tokyo.

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