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Serious Game Funding Options

By Carolyn Allen

Casual game developers are addressing a particular annoyance among gamers: each game site has its own address with its own client-side player and its own, separate user login.

Game portals attempt to overcome these problems. They offer a number of advantages to subscribers, such as content rating, referrals, and social networking within a community of like-minded users.

The need for standards is underscored as portal developers grapple with game-to-game portable user-generated content and other crossover issues. This issue continues to be a consumer issue as users/gamers/learners grumble and longingly wish for seamless portability.

Developers, whose revenue streams have relied on traditional subscription models, are testing a number of different approaches to more effectively monetize their product in line with new usage patterns.

Serious game developers are paying close attention to the successes and failures of new revenue models as they determine how best to commercialize learning in respectful ways that give them the revenue needed to continue innovation of serious games.

Perhaps the most controversial trend for serious games is the use of in-game advertising or sponsorship. In-game commercial offerings offer promising opportunities for serious game developers in seeking new sources of funding and revenue. The challenge is to find ways that development can be funded without negatively impacting learning. With product placement and frequent breaks for commercial messages in television and movies, serious gamers are looking for ways to balance the real world of commerce with appropriate messaging.

Serious game developers observe the obvious -- who would want to do without shopping information about the clothing and appliances and food and cars that we take for granted?

A recent discussion with a community college educator revealed that they require software curriculum offerings to provide more than ONE sponsor within the software. It makes sense that catalogs of choices are better than single sponsors who could adversely impact a developer's choices in the worst case.

REFERENCE: Adobe and MovieIndustgryMarketing.com


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