U.S. Army gets into the gaming business.

You might have heard the U.S. Army's getting into the video game business. You might not have heard how much you're paying for it.

Last week, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the Army unveiled "America's Army," a new game series that's meant to serve as a marketing and recruiting tool for the gaming generation. Recognizing that the target audience knows a quality title when it sees one (and ignores and ridicules poor quality efforts), the Army has assembled a team of proven developers and licensed one of the premier engines on the market to make its games. Quality doesn't come cheap, though. The budget for the first titles in the "America's Army" series is in the $7 million range.

That's not as expensive as it sounds. Publishers say the average PC game typically costs between $2 million and $6 million dollars and "America's Army" will launch with two titles - "Soldiers", a role-playing game that lets you live boot camp life, and "Operations," a multi-player first-person shooter that, developers say, accurately reflects rules of engagement and squad teamwork.

The budget's likely to go higher, though. The "America's Army" project is in year two of its seven-year life cycle. Additional gaming products, offering different types of training and letting you slip into a special forces uniform, are already under development and will require additional funds.

News source: CNN

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