Novel Inc. Helps With Business Training of Employees Using Virtual Gaming

Gaming technology is moving at a faster pacer than we might have envisioned a few years back. E3 hosted a variety of companies attempting to marvel crowds with breakthrough technology that lets them play with motion and wii-like controllers. Gaming, however, isn’t only for the average consumer. Virtual gaming apparently has other applications such as the ability to train employees. The military has been using virtual simulations to run scenarios for decades. An innovative upstart by the name of Novel Inc. is looking to bring the Matrix-like interactions to the workspace – empowering corporations to run business simulations to train and assess their employees. Read more after the jump.

Novel Inc. was founded in 2009 by 22 yr old entrepreneur named Olson in Seattle, Washington under the mentorship of Medtronic CEO Bill George. Incubating in the offices of Gas Powered Games, Olson’s team spent over a year working on their first MMO title that would serve as the backbone of their business simulations.
Their serious game Empire & State will be focusing on business and political issues is set to debut its alpha release near the end of this year and stands in contrast to the common shooter and fantasy games that have flooded the market. It will have a lot of tycoon components and allow players to specialize as criminal masterminds and military strategists among other things. The free to play title will look to make money through microtransactions, a model that has not been commonly observed in serious games.
The game play will revolve around leveling up but with a very immersive and persistent feel where players can chat, negotiate deals, carry out political campaigns and organize labor in virtual organizations. Although the game could provide hours of fun for those looking to prosper virtually, the real prize for Olson is in fishing for enterprise clients that want to run targeted simulations on specific topics.
The company will be challenged in figuring out how to brand itself and convincing companies to utilize their gaming technology. Novel has gained ground recently by establishing some strategic partnerships (unnamed) that will help test the initial products.
The Vancouver-based company currently has 20 people and hiring a few engineers, and has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round financing from McLean Capital and Nairbo Investments. Check out their site here.