Speaking at her keynote at the Develop Conference 2009’s Games/Edu strand Alice Taylor, commissioning editor for education at Channel 4, has pointed to the potential educational games offer as revenue generators.
"Educational games could be a license to print money, or at least something like that," claimed Taylor. "95 per cent of Channel 4 is funded by advertising, but with broadcast media in crisis and advertising falling things are going to have to change. However, with games there is a lot of potential, with the likes of microtransactions, in-game advertising, syndication and all the other ways."
In her presentation, titled ‘Channel 4 education and Indie Games’, Taylor also said: "Education isn’t required to make money in this way, but we can certainly experiment and have a look and take advantage of the potential. We’ll have to spend some money, take some risks and see what happens."
In 2008 Channel 4 moved the £6 million a year it previously spent on TV educational programming to help create online educational content.
Previously, it found that a £100,000 spend on a one hour broadcast program only attracted 100,000 viewers.
Responding to the trend, Channel 4 has now dedicated half of that budget to creating educational games, which are all created by independent studios, the vast majority of which are UK-based.
Taylor also revealed that Channel 4 is beginning to consider establishing a presence on the major console’s online spaces. "Xbox Live is a fascinating place for us, but I haven’t worked out how or if we can get into those places, including the likes of PSN."