State-of-the-art HOST Gametech campus opens at MediaCity
A state-of-the art gametech campus has launched at HOST – the Home of Skills & Technology – in MediaCity, Salford. Operated by IN4 Group, HOST Gametech is an interactive, immersive campus designed to stimulate skills and employment routes for people of all ages and backgrounds, giving them access to career opportunities within the multi-billion pound industry.
The campus is a result of continued investment from Salford City Council and MediaCity and the first of its kind in the North of England. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham voiced his support for the initiative at a launch event earlier this week which brought together gametech, esports and creative digital communities.
The University of Salford, which will make use of the training and education areas within HOST Gametech as it gears up for the launch of its esports degree in 2023, also discussed how the facilities will help to make the region an educational centre of excellence for gaming, esports and the metaverse.
The space includes 50 video game stations and dedicated console stations – which have been provided by leading manufacturer of custom-built gaming PCs Yoyotech – along with a tournament arena, online streaming facilities and a casual gaming space.
Students from Primrose Hill Primary School in Salford were among those putting the cutting-edge gaming technology to the test at the launch. Lionscreed, one of the UK’s leading professional esports teams, was also on-site as the team took part in a match play competition.
As part of the City Partnership program, set up last year between Austin, Texas and Manchester, HOST Gametech will link to another elite gaming environment, at the Alienware Longhorn Lounge in Port San Antonio. This partnership aims to support talent and encourage people in both Manchester and Austin to explore the world of esports and access some of the opportunities the sector is creating.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, said: “HOST Gametech is an incredibly important step in helping MediaCity to realise its ambition to become a world leading centre of excellence for immersive entertainment tech. Through the campus, we will attract global leaders and partners in Gametech and ensure that everyone has fair access to the vast opportunities that this sector is presenting for the region.
‘‘What really touched me at our launch event was how much fun people were having. We need to democratise technology and make it fun, because that’s when young people engage with it. Today wasn’t just about gametech, but joytech!’’
Stephen Wild, Managing Director of MediaCity, added: ‘‘Gametech at HOST will be a huge pull for MediaCity, helping to attract the most forward-looking players in the sector to build a presence in the region. Gametech and esports are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world and this campus is providing the skills training and job opportunities that will give local people a route into the industry. I can’t wait to see the impact this state-of-the-art campus is going to have.’’
Jeremy Bruty, Yoyotech Business Unit Director – Private Sector said: “Yoyotech are proud partners of this amazing project. Our collaboration firmly puts Manchester and the surrounding areas front and centre in the UK for esports opportunities and jobs. The state-of-the-art gaming and viewing arena will allow people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences to enjoy one of the fastest growing industries in the world and keep both Yoyotech and IN4 Group at the heart of digital growth and future careers.”