THQ logoInteractive entertainment software giant THQ Inc. has announced that it will sponsor a new, state-of-the-art usability lab at The Guildhall at SMU.

The lab will serve as a primary usability test center for all the company’s titles. THQ personnel will run the center and manage test activities, led by Dr. Karl Steiner, senior manager of Usability.

“By developing our lab at SMU, THQ is getting more than just a first-class testing facility, we’re also joining a community of dedicated gamers,” Steiner said. “We look forward to collaborating with SMU faculty members and students on test and research activities as well as contributing to the development of the next generation of gaming talent.”

THQ – the creator of best-selling titles including Saints Row, Company of Heroes, Metro 2033 and the UFC Undisputed and All-Star Karate franchises – expects the lab to be fully operational by summer 2010. In addition to enhanced game testing capabilities, the shared location will generate important opportunities for collaboration with faculty and the postgraduate community, as well as potential paid internships and research projects.

The Guildhall at SMU will be the only top graduate video game design and development program with an on-site Usability Lab.

“We are incredibly excited by this opportunity for collaboration with one of the game industry’s leading global publishers,” says Peter Raad, Guildhall founder and executive director. “THQ’s presence at SMU will have a significant impact on its faculty and students by providing valuable hands-on access to professional video game usability equipment.”

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