Veteran game and entertainment exec Danny Bilson has been named the new director of USC Games, succeeding celebrated game designer Tracy Fullerton.
Bilson, who previously held key roles at EA and THQ, has been teaching at the University of Southern California (USC) since 2005, and back in 2017 took charge of the Interactive Media & Games Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA).
He claims the game design program, which is a collaboration between the SCA's Interactive Media & Games Division and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department, will now look to further blend its design and engineering classes to offer "true cross-discipline eduction."
"Under Bilson's leadership, USC Games will continue to bring world class game design and engineering faculty to the program," reads a press release.
"[It will] support both independent and major studio game development; foster a diverse student body that produces both creative and innovative content; continue to build wide ranging curricula which cover a multiple of areas of interactive entertainment; and build a robust industry placement pipeline for students."
Practically speaking, that means renewed focus on several growth areas including hosting industry workshops where students design and work on commercial games with industry partners; building a robust job placement initiative for graduating students; the creation and design of games for health; as well as an expansion of design training and experimentation for board games.
The program is also keen to explore strategic partnerships in the rapidly-growing next-gen location and themed-based entertainment space, while continuing to build the recently-announced USC Esports Union.