Simulation Options

Options for business simulations in your course

A business simulation can serve to enrich your course or to be its foundation. How? Marketplace simulations offer a variety of simulation options that put students in the driver’s seat of a new business or marketing division. Every decision your students make has consequences and presents new opportunities. The simulation helps students see the connections between the course material and real business world, which increases their engagement and improves learning.

Bring real-world experience into any business class!

Semester-long course

This is the most popular course format. The business simulation becomes the dominant course activity for 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the simulation game you choose. Your students typically compete in teams against one another. Usually, one decision round is due each week, with an optional 1 to 2 weeks added for the preparation of a business plan. The class is a mixture of lectures and simulation activity. Each week, one lecture or lab period can be set aside for team decision-making or for a period of one on one interaction between the instructor and each team in a setting sometimes referred to as Executive Briefings.

The advantage of the semester-long course format over the intensive format is that your students have more time to develop their critical thinking skills. They have time to reflect on their decisions and debate the options, trade-offs, and potential outcomes with their teammates. Competing head to head against other classmates also brings out the competitive spirit which makes everyone more engaged in the learning process. All of our simulations are suited for this course format.

Self-paced course

The self-paced exercise is the ideal choice for large classes and for introductory courses. It requires the least amount of coordination for you as the instructor. Students compete against computer-generated competitors rather than each other. Whenever each student or team completes a particular decision round, they immediately move on to the next one.

Since each student or team competes in their own independent simulated business world, there is no need to  coordinate their progress with other students throughout the exercise. The self-paced format allows your students to work independently or in small teams, and at their own pace.

The self-paced exercise can be built around the following introductory and mid-level simulations:

Intensive course

In an intensive course format, your students complete the entire simulation exercise in a compressed time frame of one to five days, depending on the complexity of the business simulation you choose. The simulation is usually positioned either at the end of the program as a capstone experience, or midway through it as an integration and transition experience to the concentrations.

This format is ideal for quick and deep learning. It requires total immersion into the learning process.

It also encourages cross-fertilization of ideas. On any important decision, there is considerable opportunity to discuss the available options, possible strategies and tactics.

Another advantage of this format is that feedback is immediate, which encourages sound business thought and discourages unsuccessful business practices. Students learn to use the tools of management to diagnose their situation and develop strategies and tactics to improve it. All of our simulations can be used in this course format.

Accelerate learning

  • Through Competition — Students compete against classmates or computer-generated competitors. The desire to win drives them to work harder and learn more.
  • Through Ownership — Students run their own business; they have a vested interest in its success. They take responsibility and lose sight of the fact that they are playing a game.
  • Through Quick Feedback — Students try ideas and see results immediately. They love to see if they have captured the hearts of the customer and outsmarted the competitors.
  • Through Realism — A life-like, new product business scenario makes the concepts you teach come alive.
  • Through Transformation — It is far better than a lecture or textbook. Students find themselves engaged, challenged, inspired, and transformed.

Going online with your class? Marketplace Simulations can help.

Ideal for online classes

  • Flexible time-frame for any course: Twenty minutes, a few hours, a few weeks, or an entire semester.
  • Options for all academic levels: Undergraduates, MBAs, executives.
  • Available for many business disciplines: Core classes, marketing, entrepreneurship, strategy, and more.

Don’t fight the drawbacks of the online environment. Embrace its benefits.

Give your students the flexibility and accessibility they love. Marketplace is built for the online environment.

Treat yourself to intelligent instructor tools that do the grunt work for you so you can focus on individualized coaching and mentoring.

Business Simulations that fit your needs

Introductory classes

The introductory games do not require instructor involvement. They help illustrate important business concepts, principles, and ways of thinking. You can use them as a reference point during lectures and discussions to make the class more interesting and relevant. Students work through the simulation on their own and at their own pace. They compete against computer-generated competitors.

Advanced Courses

Ensure the greatest learning impact by having teams compete against each other. This is the secret sauce to serious games – competition against live, dynamic, not-quite predictable classmates. The simulation facilitates teamwork and communication. Add a video conferencing software like Zoom or video chat and let student teams connect, brainstorm, and work together online. Conduct executive briefings, have one-on-one discussions with students who need help, and even run a Venture Capital Fair – all online.

In-class time

Students typically spend time outside of class for team meetings and working on Marketplace. This frees up class time for lectures and discussions.

If you are worried about participation, you can require students to work during class time where you can monitor their work. Marketplace shows you when students are logged in, how much time they have spent, and what exactly they have done in the game.

Choose Your Game Scenario


Advanced 3D printing technology has made it possible to print custom carbon fiber bikes. The new technology will cut costs substantially, allowing the new bikes to be priced well below other carbon fiber bikes. Students receive seed capital to develop this new, niche market.

As they compete for market dominance, students will take on challenges like designing brands, building a production facility, hiring workers, opening stores, launching advertising campaigns and more.

PC (Classic)

In our classic PC scenario, students step into the early days of the personal computer market. Students will receive seed capital to start their business selling laptops, desktop computers, or both!

As they build their business, students will take on challenges like building a factory, opening distribution channels, designing brands, launching advertising campaigns and more.