There’s a big challenge with large scale multi-player social games with themes aimed at the under 18 set. Capcom’s Smurf Village game felt the biggest pinch with the challenge which is monetization. Kids were playing Smurf Village on their parents iOS devices and draining their parents wallets until Apple intervened.
This issue is particularly challenging because kids make a great audience for these kinds of games. Enter Ntiedo Etuk and his start up DimensionU. DimensionU has found a way that should be ok with parents to let kids enjoy social gaming. What’s better is Etuk has focused on providing games that are age appropriate and interject educational elements as well.
According to this story at betabeat, DimensionU incentivisis learning by setting up a reward system, with the parents involvement, where the kids can earn prizes both tangible and virtual for learning accomplishments.
More after the break
Etuk debuted his platform in the education sector, which he felt addressed a huge need. Etuk told betabeat:
“We felt like a lot of the tools had been created to help the teacher do their job better, or to help the government figure out if teachers were doing their jobs well. But very little was focused on how kids interact with information.”
Etuk and DimensionU have created a catalog of multiplayer games which feature educational concepts as well fun and age appropriate game play. What makes DimensionU special is the way that they have monetized through incentive with parents.
Kids who play games on the DimensionU platform can request an education allowance from their parents. The allowance is than taken from the parents credit card and distributed as the child hits educational goals within the games. When the kid receives an allowance credit they can buy age appropriate tangible products from a network of vendors or they can use the allowance for virtual goods in the social games they are playing.
The system that Etuk has in place makes sure that the players don’t automatically fill up their virtual buckets and then need to re-up shortly thereafter.
Etuk says that they’ve solved the Zynga problem, and similar problems to what happened with Smurf’s Village, by having kids earn the money parents are investing in the game play.
DimensionU recentlyraised $1.65 million dollars from Intel Capital and Ascend Venture Group.