In 2011, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank developed Investorville, a property-investing game that looked to improve the real estate literacy of potential home buyers. The game featured an online simulator allowing players to dabble in real estate investing without risking their equity. Working with a company that maintains residential property information and economists, the bank created a financial snapshot of every suburban housing market in Australia. By choosing an investor-profile (first time investor, more experienced, etc.), players learn about investment strategies, rental returns, and interest rates.
“Making the leap from owning your own property to buying an investment property can seem quite daunting to a lot of people,” claimed Mark Murray, general manager of Commonwealth Bank Consumer Marketing. “Investorville helps to break down common misconceptions and show the practicalities of property investment. The really beneficial part of Investorville is that users can, in the true sense of the term, try before they buy.” According to a September 2012 report from InvestorDaily, the Investorville game generated about 600 loans within one year of launch, behind an investment of around $400,000.