Earlier this month, Unicorn Training, a London financial services L&D company, announced its acquisition of Amuzo, a BAFTA-nominated games studio, six months after investing in the Bournemouth, UK-based company. The two organizations are developing immersive games and apps for just-in-time training and reinforcement outside of the traditional desktop environment.
In the last 12 months, Unicorn had sales of over £6 million (about $7.8 million), and its learning and performance platform SkillServe was ranked the world’s top LMS for financial services for the second year in a row by e-learning blogger Craig Weiss. Meanwhile, in the last two years, Amuzo has seen its games played over a billion times and reach #1 on the App Store in over 150 countries, according to the press release.
Combining the mobile game expertise of Amuzo with the L&D solutions of Unicorn makes sense in the context of the fast-growing field of gamification. In order for users to learn from games, the games’ must have a close partnership with training professionals. For Unicorn, which focuses on financial services and compliance training solutions, gamification may be an especially valuable tool.
Financial and compliance topics might be seen as dry or even boring subjects for many learners. Research suggests that games increase participation, engagement and job performance. Partnering with Amuzo, a company with strengths in developing leisure games like LEGO games, will likely help Unicorn engage more learners by making learning more enjoyable and therefore engaging.
In the notoriously conservative world of financial services, the use of serious games might seem risky. But, as one financial services training leader wrote in “Training Industry Magazine,” “the ever-changing financial marketplace presents constant upheaval.” Ever-changing environments demand innovative training solutions, and gamification certainly meets that criterion.
Mobile learning is another buzzword in the training industry. Since people already communicate, surf the internet, take pictures and, yes, play games on their phones, why not get them learning on their phones as well? Peter Phillips, CEO of Unicorn, said in a statement that Amuzo’s “in-depth expertise in publishing apps to mobile platforms for global audiences [is] a skillset not yet embedded in the desktop-oriented world of corporate eLearning.” By acquiring Amuzo, Unicorn will now be able to provide more mobile-friendly learning experiences for its customers.
Compliance is a major business concern, especially in the financial services industry, where stakes are high and regulations change frequently. It’s important that professionals in this industry can access learning materials where and when they need them. Providing mobile games for employees to learn about the latest banking regulations or for a financial advisor to explore a simulated meeting with a client can meet that need.
London is one of the financial centers of the world. In this city is Unicorn Training, a company entirely devoted to providing training services in the financial services industry. It sounds like a world of stiff suits and boring meetings, but Unicorn Training’s acquisition of Amuzo proves that training in this world doesn’t have to be dull. It can be gamified and even fun.