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Square Moves into Serious Games Biz 38

Posted by Zonk
from the spikey-haired-math-teachers dept.
Kotaku has the word that Square/Enix is moving into the 'serious' games market. Serious Games, as they're known, attempt to do more than just entertain. Square has never previously created games for education, and so it's quite notable that company strategist Ichiro Otobe is now slated to give the keynote at this year's GDC Serious Games Summit. From the release: "The serious games market represents a new outlet for our skills as a game developer, and it means that we will be serving totally different customers. As such, there are many different kinds of hurdles that must be cleared in order for it to offer meaningful opportunities. I plan to speak about Square Enix's approach to these challenges, and hopefully provide both business and design inspiration for everyone interested in the uses of games beyond entertainment."
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Square Moves into Serious Games Biz

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  • I have to wonder why this is the news story when we have current rumours saying Square are selling off Siken Densetsu, Chrono and the Kingdom hearts franchises. Wouldn't this be a massive news story as opposed to Square failing in the educational market?
    • by badasscat (563442)
      I have to wonder why this is the news story when we have current rumours saying Square are selling off Siken Densetsu, Chrono and the Kingdom hearts franchises.

      Could it be because your post is probably the first anyone other than you has heard this "rumor"? And since when are rumors posted as news?

      I'll let you in on a little secret. At any given time, there are probably 100 rumors flying around the periphery of the game industry about publishers, developers, and consoles. 99% of them are ridiculously fal
    • Considering that part of the appeal of Kingdom Hheats is the Final Fantasy characters, I'm sure Disney wouldn't let Square go very easily.

      And lest we forget, weren't both of the games uber-successful? Why stop doing something that's guaranteed to give you buckets of money?
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @03:54AM (#17643036) Homepage Journal
    "Moogles and Chocobos teach sex education"
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by creimer (824291)
    So Square is coming to a full circle in game design?
  • If anything, this announcement should've come months ago when games like Brain Age took over the Japanese sales charts. Such "productivity" titles make perfect sense for a massive studio's diverse portfolio, as they cost less to make and tap into a broader market. Perhaps the studio's ties with Disney will come into play with educational software, for starters?
  • by Hes Nikke (237581) <slashdot&gotnate,com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @04:38AM (#17643246) Journal
    FFX meets... the lewis & clark expedition... just imagine the boss battle when they get to the mouth of the columbia river... :D
  • Replacing 'entertain' with 'teach':

    They don't teach you anything, but they look absolutely fahhhboulous while they do it!
  • I get the feeling that these games will be titled along the lines of "chocobo teaches typing", "chocobo math", etc.
  • "Serious?" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:01AM (#17645312)
    "Serious Games, as they're known, attempt to do more than just entertain."

    Back in the day, they were called "edutainment," but as I recall they all died of cholera.
    • Edutainment was typically used to characterize child education games, which is only a small subset of the 'serious games' category.

      'Serious games' seems to be used to describe job training exercises, exercise games, games with political messages, and the casual puzzle games that are supposed to 'stimulate your brain'.

      Do the labels really mean anything? Probably not, but if you think of edutainment as the only type of 'serious game', you'll miss a lot.

      (hmm ... some would argue that politics is a game, and
      • 'Serious games' seems to be used to describe job training exercises, exercise games, games with political messages ...

        Well, that's a relief. I was worried that they might be terrible and boring, like educational games were!
  • ...and now they say it's not a serious game?

    ObWTF: WTF?
  • Looking forward to Square's version of a Fire Fighter simulation that was showcased at the GDC Serious games summitt last year but with Final Fantasy characters. They should call it Final Fantasy Fire Fighters or FFFF for short!
  • Video games: Serious Business.
  • The "Serious Games" buzzword frequently refers to military training, first responder simulations, interactive political simulations, etc. They are typically not designed to be even remotely entertaining. The phrase is relatively new and should be more like "interactive simulation".

    The "Edutainment" buzzword typically refers to K-12 educational games, and simple simulations. It's a pretty old phrase and pretty well understood.

    Because Square has no actual *product* it's tough to tell where they lie.
  • I mean, DS is the preference when we talk about education/learning games. And it's for a [good] reason. I think the Chocobo and the Magic Book [Or something like that] game goes that way.

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