University of Hertfordshire alumnus wins BAFTA Game Award for hit game God of War Ragnarök

 1 January 2024 19 April 2023
19 April 2023

Michael Leaning, University of Hertfordshire alumnus, recently won the Audio Achievement BAFTA Game Award as part of a team who worked on the hit video game God of War Ragnarök.

He graduated from Hertfordshire in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Design Technology, followed by an MSc in Music and Sound Technology (Audio Programming) in 2008.

Michael developed many skills during his time at the University, which he believes have helped him in his career as a sound designer. He says, “My undergraduate degree in Music Technology introduced me to sound design for the moving image, something I hadn't thought about when applying for the course. I had initially been focused on music. There was something about putting sound to visuals that excited me and I've been doing it ever since.”

He took full advantage of all the opportunities offered to him during his studies and explains how they really helped him to progress in his career. “Working with animation students was one of the best experiences. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to work in a professional studio setting, and take my first steps into sound design on high-end equipment and surround sound. Learning about so many different aspects of sound, and collaborating with different creative disciplines, definitely led me on the path I’m walking today.”

Michael currently works as a sound designer with Sweet Justice Sound, who partnered with Sony PlayStation sound services and Santa Monica Studios, helping them with cinematic and in-game audio for Ragnarök. He says, “It was an incredible career highlight and a project I’ll remember for a very long time. At the BAFTAs I was lucky enough to meet and chat to US-based Sony colleagues and members of the Ragnarök cast who attended the event. It was an amazing night!”

Michael is looking forward to what the future has in store for him and says, “I’ve been lucky enough to work on some of the biggest gaming franchises during my career. I’m looking forward to continuing to work on amazing games and improving my skills over a long and varied career.”

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