America's Army Report

GameSpot reports from the Serious Games Summit, where Colonel Casey Wardynski gave a presentation on the state of the America's Army game. As previously reported, America's Army will start using the Unreal Engine 3.0, however according to the report development won't start until February of next year. Wardynski's presentation also unveiled that development currently costs about $2.5 million a year, with a much better return than other Army-sponsored events. Even so, the developers are looking to improve the game's recruiting abilities by adding an in-game recruiting center in the game's next update.

Wardynski uses "cost per person hour" as a metric for the effectiveness of America's Army as a marketing tool: How much does it cost to put the Army's brand in front of someone for one hour? The game delivers a cost per person hour of 10 cents, versus $5 to $8 for TV. Even more telling, 20 percent of entering cadets at West Point have already played America's Army, and from 20-40 percent of new Army recruits have played it as well. Referring to other Army marketing efforts, Wardynski said, "We've had success above anticipated. Compared to the [Army-sponsored] race car, the bull riding, and so on, this is more effective than all of them, but costs less."