In the weeks after the publication of "Is the School Market Still Just a Mirage?" on the Games and Learning website, I have seen that it has led to discussions about the state of the industry and perhaps some soul-searching as to how to improve the situation. Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen wrote on the LinkedIn discussion that while the article was U.S.-centric, the lessons hold true for Europe as well. This issue of commercialization ranks high on the list of concerns for educational game developers globally. Other developers, however, are not yet at that stage of worrying about profits, but more generally are concerned about: How do I fund the development of my game?
This important question is the focus of the second article, "The Real State of Learning Game Funding." Much like in the book, Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform, I relate advice from developers who have walked the walk and come out with thousands of dollars to fund their projects. What are other developers doing that you can learn from? Read and find out.
In particular, check out the audio interview, which covers material not included in the article.
I would consider this article to be the most business-oriented of the four, but maybe that's why it's the most important. While this stuff is not as fun as working on the game design, the nitty gritty details of how to find funding and how to make money are vital to a new business. This often can be lacking in creative endeavors. If you're starting up an educational game company, I think you'll find this article very informative.
Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose work has spanned 10 years in the industry. Her credits include 1999 IGF winner Terminus, 2007 PC RPG of the Year The Witcher, and Wizard 101. She is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG.