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Swiss Serious Games Market Trying To Catch Up

iMiC (Innovative Movement Therapy in Childhood)
ZHdK Serious and Applied Games Research: needs-based game worlds modularly adapted to different therapy systems

Marcel Urech from Netzwoche, a Swiss trade magazine for the ICT industry and the official publication for Simsa (the Swiss Interactive Media and Software Association), posted earlier this week an extensive titled Serious Games - That's What Makes Learning Fun.

Marcel Urech describes how Swiss corporate decision makers are slowly but surely realizing the potential of Serious Games, which are becoming increasingly popular. “Still, it is not easy for Swiss game studios to survive in the industry because their production costs a lot of time and money,” he adds.

Developers have told the Netzwoche editors how they can survive in the market.

Here are the highlights:

Serious Games, or "Serious & Applied Games" as the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) calls the discipline, deals with the function and effect of games in a cultural or scientific context. "Serious & Applied Games are particularly effective if they deliver a satisfying gaming experience," says Ulrich Götz, who heads the department at ZHdK.

The worldwide five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Game-based Learning products is a robust 37.1% and revenues will more than quadruple by 2023, according to the new market report The 2018-2023 Global Game-based Learning Market by Metaari (in the article, Urech refers to Allied Market Research - 19% AAGR by 2023). “So it is not surprising that the Federal Council also became aware of Serious Games,” says Urech. 

“The report by the Federal Council shows the growing interest in games,” says also Attila Szantner, CEO and founder of the company MMOS based in Monthey, Switzerland.

MMOS, a Swiss start-up founded in 2014, has developed a platform that connects research data and video games, offering players the opportunity to contribute to proteomics or exoplanet research while being fully immersed in their favorite video game.

In March 2016, the first implementation of this concept, Project Discovery, was released in the massively multiplayer online game EVE Online, in collaboration with the Human Protein Atlas research program: in just few months, more than 10 million classifications of protein locations have been recorded by tens of thousands of gamers. 

“Linking real science with existing video games is actually the opposite of gamification,” says Szantner. "We could call it Seriousification if you need a cumbersome term for it," he jokes.

"We are becoming increasingly interested in using games as a medium in everyday situations," says Yasemin Günay, co-founder of Koboldgames, a Serious Games developer from Brugg, Switzerland. “This probably has something to do with the fact that more and more decision-makers in companies have grown up with games and are therefore open to the medium. In addition, companies are increasingly understanding how to innovate their brands through games.”

Image credit: uFin The Challenge by Koboldgames
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Switzerland is not a pioneer country, but it is catching up fast. Above all, the pharmaceutical industry, energy and electricity companies, media companies and universities would be interested in Serious Games.