Powersim Corp has introduced new software that lets companies develop business strategy games for their Web sites. America Online Inc is looking to use the technology too. Called Metro, the tools are aimed at management consultants and Fortune 500 companies that want to use a games structure for decision support, training and communicating new strategies […]
Powersim Corp has introduced new software that lets companies develop business strategy games for their Web sites. America Online Inc is looking to use the technology too. Called Metro, the tools are aimed at management consultants and Fortune 500 companies that want to use a games structure for decision support, training and communicating new strategies to middle management via the Internet or corporate intranets. Powersim has had interest from fun and games side of the market to use Metro to develop multi-user games. America Online wants to develop a multi-user games channel for ImagiNation Network Inc, which it bought from AT&T Corp last August (CI No 2,973). The company says its technology fills a gap in the multi-user gaming market because there is no development environment for multi-user games at the moment. There are currently two games demos running on its web site at www.Powersim.com/demo97. One is a hypothetical lawn mower manufacturer that lets participants make decisions that a chief executive might need to make: how much should be invested in research and development and how much on advertising and so on. The player sees a graph on screen representing the company’s performance over the given time period. The player can make up to nine decisions affecting the company in this games demo, said Ray Capece, president and chief executive of Indian Wells, California-based Powersim. But there is a serious business model underneath. In addition, the company sees the technology as a way of corporates differentiating their web sites. Anyone visiting the site with a standard browser can play anything from simple market strategies to complex competitive scenarios in a game-like experience, it said. Metro consists of the Powersim Model visual development application that captures the features of a business setting and converts them into a simulation of the business; the Powersim Look, which specifies an interface for the simulation model, and Powersim Metro Link, which is the simulation server software that connects the simulation model to the user interface. Powersim Metro is due out in the late spring at $5,000.