STILL JUST A MIRAGE: With a market projected to balloon to $13.2 billion in 2019, and plenty of grant opportunities from the likes of the US Department of Education, “it seems like it’s never been a better time to be an educational game developer,” writes former game designer Sande Chen. Yet many hurdles old and new remain. The former indie game developer revisits many of the questions around school budget, standards alignment, data, and the struggle for developers to make their games stand out from the flood of free drivel on the Internet.
But despite the uptick in vocal support among teacher and more sources of funding, the industry has “never really recovered from the public perception shaped by a rash of poorly designed and deeply discounted edutainment products,” she concludes. “Consumers continually devalue educational games, expecting them to be free or low cost, with little understanding of quality differences.”