Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 24, 2021
arrowPress Releases
If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Press Releases
  Share on Twitter RSS

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

The FunPlus and Creative Art Works partnership provided art design internships to young adults and has announced honors at culminating event 

Greater Zurich Area, Switzerland and New York— March 23, 2021 — FunPlus, a leading independent mobile game developer and publisher, today announced alongside partner Creative Art Works, the highlights of the Character Design Internship Program and have awarded the Overall Best Character Design Award to outstanding young artist Samuel Hernandez from Curtis High School for the character: Kuragari Anzhong. 


“Kuragari Anzhong was inspired by Japanese horror stories,” says Hernandez. “I wanted to create one of my own legends and my own monster.”


The Character Design Internship Program was created to address the overwhelming need for more diversity in game design, particularly among Black creators. FunPlus and Creative Art Works have taken a stand to highlight the lack of diversity in the gaming industry and through this program have made concrete efforts to offer support in the growth and success of creators from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.


“We constructed the curriculum for the character design program around a framework of social justice and challenged our interns to consider how their work incorporated issues of equity and inclusivity,” said Brian Ricklin, Executive Director and CEO of Creative Art Works. “With support from FunPlus, we developed a fun and innovative internship which provides technical and artistic skills, instills workforce development, and builds a sense of community among our young artists at no cost.”

“While FunPlus shared a note expressing solidarity with Black communities last year, tangible efforts like our partnership with Creative Art Works are a way that my teams and I can actually make an impact by empowering young creators with tools for success,” said Wei Wang, Chief Creative Officer at FunPlus. “It’s great to see FunPlus take the industry’s stance on expanding diversity seriously, and it’s vital that we all continue to do so.”


The Creative Art Works’ Character Design Internship Program sponsored by FunPlus, provided a nine-week internship for 70 young adults across New York City to encourage diversity in character storytelling and to empower youth through art expression. During the internship, participants with varying levels of art experience worked to develop original characters inspired by video games, comics, and animation with instruction from Creative Art Works Teaching Artists and guest lectures from FunPlus artists. 


The Character Design Internship Culminating Event held March 18, awarded Samuel Hernandez the top honor for Overall Best Character Design. This final award was presented by Wei Wang, renowned video game artist and Chief Creative Officer at FunPlus who through this program, aimed to highlight diverse representation in gaming. Jessica Murrey, Chief Executive Officer at Wicked Saints Studios, who was recently highlighted by Niantic’s Black Developer’s Initiative, presented the Runner Up award to Charlize Lin for the creation: Agent Skadoodle. 

For more information on the Character Design Internship and to view all artist portfolios, visit


For more information on Creative Art Works, visit


For more information on FunPlus, visit 


Find a link to the winning portfolios here.

About Creative Art Works

Creative Art Works (“CAW”) is a 35-year-old non-profit that empowers young people through the visual and multimedia arts. CAW’s programs equip children, teens, and young adults with essential tools and skills; connect them with community, academic success and career opportunities; and inspire them to reach for new possibilities. 


Working in underserved New York City neighborhoods, CAW provides dynamic, creative youth development for those who would otherwise lack access. Approximately 4,000 young people, ages 4-24, participate in CAW programs every year. Approximatlely 96% of participants in CAW programs are African American and/or Latino youth in under-resourced communities. Many also endure compounding challenges including illiteracy, recent immigration, justice involvement, foster care, and/or homelessness/transitional housing. These risk factors are all being exacerbated by the global pandemic.


CAW runs four core programs: Public Art Youth Employment, In-School, Out-of-School-Time, and Community Art-Making.


About FunPlus

Founded in 2010, FunPlus is a world class, independent game developer and publisher headquartered in Switzerland with operations in Spain, Sweden, Russia, United States, Singapore, Japan, and China. As an organization that fosters the best creative talent in the world and employs nearly 1,700 people, the company has developed and published mobile games that have ranked in the #1 spot in nearly 70 countries, which includes State of Survival, King of Avalon and Guns of Glory. FunPlus studios include KingsGroup, Puzala, and Seven Games, each part of a growing global network of developers working on unique brands of staple genres including strategy, puzzle, and role-playing games. 


The FunPlus brand powers FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), one of the world’s most successful esports organizations.

Contact Information

B/HI for FunPlus

Jamie King

[email protected]


Creative Art Works

Karen Jolicoeur 

[email protected]