Transport Dept 'spends £2.8m on social flop'

Transport Dept 'spends £2.8m on social flop'

By Rob Crossley

January 14th 2011 at 3:33PM

Browser game popularity collapses; Dev costs equal £16 for each registered user

The UK Department for Transport had spent £2.8 million on a road safety awareness game that has flat-lined in popularity for months, new data suggests.

Browser game Code of Everand was built to encourage better road safety standards among young people.

But the Transport Department had to wait two years for the project to launch, and had to fund further development for another two years.

Internal documents show the final bill, for over four years of development, stands at £2,785,695.

A Freedom Of Information request on the data, lodged by blogger Simon Dickson, shows that US studio Area/Code was paid annual sums over four years.

Google Analytic data shows the game’s popularity peaked in March last year, with some 54,000 registrations made that month. Since then its popularity appears to have fallen dramatically; down to 6,500 registrations in April 2010 and now, nine months later, has flat-lined to some 2,000 registrations per month.

The game’s total 170,000 registered users represents a cost of over £16 for each player.

Code of Everand’s has failed to make an impact on social networks too, with under 600 friends on Facebook and just over 82 followers on Twitter.