Mick Hocking

I am honoured and delighted to receive this award. I have many happy memories of my time at the University. Achieving my goal of a first class degree really helped to put me on track for a successful and highly enjoyable career. Thank you to all the staff who gave me such great support and encouragement

Since 2010 Mick has been Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) UK studios; London Studio, Studio Liverpool, BigBIG Studio and Evolution Studios. He is a games industry pioneer and entrepreneur.

Mick graduated from Staffordshire University in 1994 with a First in BSc (Hons) Computer Science, and worked at Digital Image Design as Artificial Intelligence (AI) Coder, Designer and Producer. 
He was instrumental in creating such games as EF2000, Total Air War and Eurofighter Typhoon and won awards for artificial intelligence based gaming systems including WARGEN, which was subsequently licensed by the Royal Air Force for flight simulation training.

He went on to co-found Evolution Studios, a company that rapidly grew into a world renowned development studio with 150 staff, publishing multi-million selling titles on PlayStation formats such as the World Rally Championship (WRC) series and MotorStorm. In 2000 he was instrumental in the formation of BigBIG Studios which developed the ground breaking PSP titles Pursuit Force and MotorStorm: Arctic Edge. Evolution and BigBIG Studios were acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2007.

As Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) UK studios, Mick has been responsible for creating PlayStation First, a global partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment and academia.  He is also a leading innovator of the new wave of Virtual Reality and 3D Technology and plays a key role in maintaining Sony’s position at the cutting edge of development. In 2012 Mick was given the Lumiere Award for advancing 3D technology.

Recently Mick has worked with London Studio and J K Rowling on the augmented reality video game, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, released in 2012, and on the PlayStation 4 title DRIVECLUB, a multi-million selling racing game launched in 2014. 

The award of Honorary Doctor of Science recognises Mick as a respected leading player in the worldwide video games industry and his impressive professional trajectory from co-founding Evolution, to his present role as Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment’s UK studios.  In addition, it recognises his passion to bring about links between PlayStation First and education, resulting in new partnerships with universities in Europe, and now extending to the rest of the world, notably in Australia.

Mick said, “I am honoured and delighted to receive this award. I have many happy memories of my time at the University. Achieving my goal of a first class degree really helped to put me on track for a successful and highly enjoyable career. Thank you to all the staff who gave me such great support and encouragement.”