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NASA Learning Technologies Cuts Educational MMO Budget

NASA Learning Technologies Cuts Educational MMO Budget

April 21, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

April 21, 2008 | By Eric Caoili
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After issuing a Request for Information in January to evaluate development for a well-funded educational MMO, NASA Learning Technologies has now sent out a Request for Proposals (RFP) indicating that partnering developers will not be paid for their efforts.

NASA Learning Technologies originally budgeted "$1 million a year for fiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009" for the project, an MMO aiming to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to students in middle school through college. This latest RFP, however, now reveals that the group seeks to establish "a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement."

Essentially asking developers to create and maintain the proposed MMO for free, NASA Learning Technologies is considering alternative forms of compensation: "In exchange for a collaborator's investment to create and manage a NASA-based MMO game for fun and to enhance STEM, NASA will consider negotiating brand placement, limited exclusivity and other opportunities."

All proposals must be submitted to NASA Learning Technologies by June 18th.

[UPDATE - 05/23/08, 1.00pm PST: NASA has clarified that it will offer a licensing agreement in which the developer would still make money from the MMO’s release via end-user payments, but will not directly fund the project.]

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