The global serious games market was valued at USD 6.29 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 25.54 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 26.37% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. The application of serious games in end-user industries for purposes such as education, training, problem recognition, enhanced problem-solving capabilities, social skills, and improving collaborative abilities, along with decision making, is considered to have potential benefits.
- Enterprise gaming systems are expected to witness substantial growth during the forecast period. Organizations have shown a heavy inclination toward collaborative systems, which do not create a competitive environment, as they are widely considered counterproductive. For instance, Mint.com Company successfully experimented with gaming to drive high-profiled leads.
- These systems are also used for employee training, as the use of gaming by SAP to educate their employees on sustainability. Advanced technologies are influencing the financial services industry to adopt serious gaming as well. The aim is to reduce the complexity involved in simulation training across investment decision-making. This is made possible by making the offers and products intuitive.
- Also, the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to witness a significant growth rate of 25.38% in the market studied. Asia-Pacific has also been a significant adopter of technological advancements. The market studied in the developing economies poses a key opportunity in implementing these solutions.
- The vendors in the market studied have been offering new and better games that are targeted toward education purposes irrespective of users’ age. For example, Fiscal Ship, which was selected as one of the best educational apps to game during the pandemic by the New York Post, challenges players of all ages to put the federal budget on a sustainable course. The players can pick from a menu of tax and spending options in order to reduce the debt, measured as a share of gross domestic product, from the projected levels over the course of the next 25 years. The game is also consistently updated to make use of the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office.
- The rising awareness regarding serious games and Game-Based Learning (GBL) concept, and increasing investment by big players into the sector, along with a growing demand for mobile-based serious gaming, have been some of the major factors driving the growth of serious games in the APAC region. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, along with governments boosting educational gaming in multiple countries, is also expected to drive the adoption of serious games in the region over the forecast period.
- The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shutdown of schools across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and through digital platforms.
- Unfortunately, this has been reducing the interest of students toward learning. In order to address this challenge, e-learning platforms are integrating serious games to make learning more engaging. According to India’s e-learning platform BYJU’S, over a period, the company observed that clever integration of games demonstrated higher engagement and increased motivation toward learning, especially among younger students. This has been resulting in an increase in awareness regarding the market studied.
- Moreover, on March 30, 2020, the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), along with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), supported the usage of virtual simulation as a replacement for clinical hours for students who are currently enrolled in health sciences professions (i.e., nursing students, medical students) during the current public health crisis caused by COVID-19.
Key Market Trends
Learning and Education Application to Witness Significant Growth
- In the recent past, digital games and simulations have gained popularity for being the most powerful and highly engaging learning environment. The production of these serious games requires complex and dynamic constructs with appropriate designs of multimodal context and engaging interactions and productive pedagogical strategies to preserve learning efficacy.
- Moreover, in the education and learning ecosystem, the need for game concepts, such as challenges, rules, scores, competition, and levels, is encouraging vendors to develop solutions to address and accommodate the principal pedagogical functional variables, such as instructional support, feedback, guidance, self-regulation, attention, cognitive flow, and assessment.
- Further, Grandel Games developed a serious game that achieves behavioral change. For instance, one of the games, ‘Garfield’s Count Me In,’ is designed for students in primary education and helps them do repetitive math exercises. It is based on the learning methodology ‘Het Rekenmuurtje’ (‘Math Wall’) and specially designed by educational advisers.
- In April 2020, the Indiana Department of Education in the United States announced the Rose-Hulman’s PRISM program to provide school teachers across Indiana with valuable e-learning resources and summer professional development workshops. The program aims to create an online library with more than 6,000 free online teaching resources, which will enable teachers to share lesson plans with other school districts with the help of digital tools, such as serious gaming, among others.
- Further, in May 2021, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched a new educational game known as CyberSprinters for teaching cyber security at primary schools, clubs, and youth organizations. The CyberSprinters is an interactive game aimed at 7 to 11-year-olds learners.
Asia Pacific to Hold Significant Market Share
- The growing awareness regarding serious games or Game-based Learning (GBL) concept, increasing investment by big players into the segment, and growing demand for mobile-based serious gaming are some of the major factors driving the growth of serious games in the Asia-Pacific region. The recent COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, along with governments boosting educational gaming in the country, are some of the opportunities that are expected to boost the adoption of serious games in the region over the forecast period.
- Serious games are emerging as a powerful learning tool and are experiencing increasing popularity in recent times, owing to the cost-effective alternative to classroom-based learning for knowledge acquisition, as well as perceptual, behavioral, cognitive, affective, motivational, physiological, and social learning outcomes.
- The healthcare industry had been one of the targeted industries for the increased usage of serious games. With the aid of simulation and visualization technologies, serious games now have the capability to teach multidisciplinary healthcare professionals key procedural and cognitive skills in an engaging manner.
- To enable the development and implementation of serious games in healthcare, SIMS (SingHealth Institute of Medical Simulation) collaborated with the Serious Games Association (SGA), a non-profit serious games and game technology society in Singapore, to provide healthcare professionals with the ability to apply gamification in healthcare.
- The previous collaborations with SGA include the SIMS Games Challenge 2019, a serious healthcare simulation game competition, which observed healthcare professionals submitting concepts and developing prototypes of simulation games. SIMS and SGA had also announced a collaboration to organize RICH Games 2022, a conference for the Southeast Asian region, which offers emerging solutions and innovations to advance healthcare education.
The serious games market is fragmented, as many universities develop their own games for teaching purposes, and many commercial developers are small and medium-sized enterprises, developing customized solutions only available for single customers. Major players are Designing Digitally Inc., Diginext (CS Group), and Cisco Systems, among others. Recent developments in the market are -
- April 2021 - Tygron's partner Tauw applied the Tygron Platform, among others, for energy transition projects. An example is their project for the Dutch region 'Gooi & Vechtstreek.' Here, Tauw supported the search process of the region for possible locations for sustainable energy. Interaction with stakeholders was an essential aspect of this process, for which locations are a support base.
- July 2021 - Computing students at the University of Kent have developed a serious game for Cyber Security education. The serious game, SherLOCKED was created in a 2D top-down puzzle adventure and is designed to consolidate students' foundational security concepts.
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1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.2.5 Threat of Substitute Products
4.3 Technology Snapshot
5.1.1 Growing Usage of Mobile-based Educational Games
5.1.2 Improved Learning Outcomes are Expected to Increase the Adoption of Serious Game Among End Users
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Lack of Assessment Tools to Measure Serious Game Effectiveness
5.3 Assessment of Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry
6.1.1 Advertising and Marketing
6.1.2 Simulation Training
6.1.3 Learning and Education
6.1.4 Other Applications
6.2 By End-User
6.2.4 Media and Entertainment
6.2.7 Other End-user Industries
6.3 By Geography
6.3.1 North America
6.3.3 Asia Pacific
6.3.4 Rest of the World
7.1.1 Designing Digitally Inc.
7.1.2 Diginext (CS Group)
7.1.3 CCS Digital Education Ltd
7.1.4 Applied Research Associate Inc.
7.1.5 Grendel Games
7.1.6 Cisco Systems
7.1.8 MPS Interactive Systems
7.1.9 Can Studios Ltd
7.1.10 L.I.B. Businessgames BV
7.1.11 Tygron BV
7.1.12 Triseum LLC
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Designing Digitally Inc.
- Diginext (CS Group)
- CCS Digital Education Ltd
- Applied Research Associate Inc.
- Grendel Games
- Cisco Systems
- MPS Interactive Systems
- Can Studios Ltd
- L.I.B. Businessgames BV
- Tygron BV
- Triseum LLC