Corrected: Wilmington U, Features First partner to develop degree, certificates pathways for gaming students


Futures First Gaming and Wilmington University signed an academic partnership agreement. This is the first step toward developing degree and certificate pathways for students in the esports and gaming communities.

Stephen Sye, CEO of Futures First Gaming, said he the company is excited to partner with Wilmington University. “One of the most crucial priorities we identified from the outset of our company’s launch was the need for educational credentials in our programming,” he said. “We accomplished this by identifying a university partner who shared our vision to provide innovative STEM education to today’s youth that also shares our commitment to providing equitable opportunities to underrepresented groups and the industry’s growth in this region.”

“Wilmington University is excited to partner with Futures First Gaming,” said Lindsay Rice, senior director of Academic Partnerships at Wilmington University. “Our gaming instructors are immersed in the industry, and WilmU’s Game Design and Development program was the first undergraduate degree of its kind in Delaware. We’re committed to expanding opportunities for more high school students to connect, learn, earn credit for what they’ve learned, then explore all opportunities in the rapidly growing esports and gaming industries.”

“The agreement between WilmU and FFG leverages the capabilities of both to ensure there’s academic rigor that benefits students with and without esports and game design credentials,” said Scott Shaw, assistant professor and academic chair of WilmU’s Game Design program. “There’s so much more to it beyond programming and game design, and this agreement provides pathways to educational credit for skill-building, and opportunities to gain a wider perspective of the industry.”

“Futures First Gaming facilitates pathways for youth who have an interest in esports and STEM to realize their true potential in order to change their fortunes and change the world,” Sye said. “Our partnership with Wilmington University delivers on our promise to develop the pipeline from K-12 to university and careers in esports and related industries. Through innovative partnerships like this, our brand tagline, ‘Futures First Starts with Gaming,’ is realized.”


FFG already has a Workforce Development program, which is sponsored by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. The academic partnership agreement with Wilmington University aligns with the second cohort of Workforce Development students who will now have access to WilmU’s staff of instructors, curriculum, development techniques, and program content for college credit.

With this partnership, Delaware residents can expect to see more of FFG’s esports events and educational programming hosted at WilmU’s facilities in Delaware.

A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the company.