Your first reaction when watching this game trailer will be something like… how does a Grand Theft Auto style game educate people about banking. Well, when your intended market are teenagers not interested in what banks have to say, it all starts to seem a little simpler, particularly when you combine the best selling Sim City style of game in a more engaging Grand Theft Auto package infused with financial challenges (when you think about it, Grand Theft Auto & Sim City already had a lot of business acumen embedded). Throw that combination online, for free, with complete Facebook connect functionality and you’ve something pretty exciting.
The game is build around a teenager that comes to the city in search of making it big, along with characters like landlords, fraudsters, old ladies, partners, banks, businesses… the lot. To progress in the game, you have to pass challenges (generally financial ones about managing money) and once you get a roll on you’ll start to make more money, to spend on more things, on your way to creating an empire on 56 Sage Street.
The game looks great, plays really well (they had six months, gee I’d love a six month timeline or two!) BBH had to work closely with B-Reel (they’ve got to be one of the best production companies world wide right now?) to ensure this mammoth game containing over 500 individual interactive spots could actually go live on time.
The game was played by over 55,000 teenagers in the first month, a stellar result that will probably lead to bigger things for this story line. If you’re interested, you can check out the game here, and read a great blog post from BBH labs about how they build the game.