Momentary lapse of life

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Army has next-gen in its battle plans

Army has next-gen in its battle plans: “Army has next-gen in its battle plans

By Paul Hyman
Quick! Name the online video game that has over 5-1/2 million registered users but has never earned a dime.

And, while you’re pondering, know that the wildly popular massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) ‘World Of Warcraft’ has just half that audience — 2-plus million subscribers — and it is considered a mega-hit.

The answer is ‘America’s Army,’ the game launched on Independence Day, 2002 as both a promotion for the Army and a recruitment tool and which has become successful beyond the wildest dreams of its creators. Because the game is free for the downloading at its success can best be measured not by its non-existent revenues, but by the fact that the game has almost 3-1/2 million active users, attracts nearly 130,000 new users each month and has generated over 18 million downloads to date. It may be free but, as one developer observed, if it were a lousy game, would anybody play?

Perhaps the most significant indication that ‘America’s Army’ has been an effective PR device for the Army is the fact that both the Navy and the Air Force have created their own video games in hopes of attracting their fair share of the young gaming audience.”


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