EA Sports, in collaboration with NCAA Football, will this winter begin offering paid fellowships to former college football players seeking experience in a games development or sports entertainment career. The players will work in the EA Tiburon studio, where the NCAA Football and Madden series are developed.
The fellowships begin in January and will be offered to two candidates. "The potential roles will vary based on the types of candidates that apply," said Cam Weber, EA Sports' general manager for football products. "We are interested in candidates from engineering through to art, audio, and game design."
Tiburon has been home to developers with college football experience before, including Weber himself, a quarterback for Simon Fraser University, the only Canadian university in the NCAA. Alex Howell, who was part of Auburn's undefeated 2004 team, later earned a postgraduate degree in games design and joined the NCAA Football team this year, designing the upgrades to its "Road to Glory" mode. Others on the NCAA Football unit have Division I playing experience as well.
Weber said candidates will be evaluated for their academic performance, their talent in their particular field of expertise and, naturally, a passion for football and football video games.
"Ultimately, we are in a growth phase as we take on a major transformation in our industry. Part of our talent growth strategy is to target university grads," Weber said in a statement to Kotaku. "We have seen former college football players flourish in our team here at Tiburon, and we are excited about having more of them join our team to help us build the world's most authentic and immersive football games."
The fellowships are postgraduate, paid, and offer full-time employment over their 16-week term.