Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced a $3 million contribution to the game development program of the University of Southern California. The donation is part of a multi-year partnership, and will go to the program’s Gerald A. Lawson fund, which will support undergraduate Black and Indigenous students studying game development and design.
USC first launched its fund for Black and Indigenous students in 2021, and received funding from Take-Two Interactive and Microsoft that same year. The fund includes salary support and projects that affect Black and indigenous communities.
“We have a responsibility to drive change and build an industry that is more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming for all,” wrote Sony Interactive’s senior director Tiffany Johnson in a press release. Last year, Sony launched the Social Justice Fund to allow for growth of diversity and representation in the games industry.
“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.”
Recently, larger developers and publishers have made concentrated efforts to improve diversity in the industry. Last week, Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady founded a games academy in the UK to cultivate talent from aspiring developers from underrepresented communities.
Last year, Sony partnered with four organizations, including Black Girls Code and Black in Gaming, to expanding the presence of Black developers throughout the industry.