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In the News: The Untapped Potential of Serious Games

According to an interesting news article posted earlier this month, there is an enormous untapped potential in the Serious Games Market - an underused strategic opportunity for majors and indies.

In a piece for VentureBeat (VB) dated November 12 and titled There’s Serious Potential in Serious Games, Shivani Lamba describes how the world is being transformed by play and how Serious Games are increasingly being used across industries.

“Their influence is being felt across healthcare, where games are delivering neurodevelopmental assessments to children, to defense, where military simulations in virtual reality add an unprecedented, tactile layer to training,” she says.

Founder and CEO at Brightlobe, a startup that is developing a game-based platform to support children’s growth and development, Shivani Lamba highlights the fact that Serious Games are more ambitious than ever, their developer community is growing, and the sector will be worth just over $9 billion by 2023. She cites examples of conferences and other annual gatherings across the United States and Europe formed to bring industry specialists and developers together: Games for Health Europe entering its tenth year and Games for Change hosting its 17th festival in 2020. I would add the 12th edition of the International Serious Play Conference and the 15th anniversary of the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge next year, among a few others.

Shivani states that while Serious Games “remain on the fringes of the gaming market,” they may represent a feasible but underused product diversification strategy for industry insiders.

Lamba then breaks down opportunities that developers can take advantage of if they craft a strategy around Serious Games. This breakdown ranges from adding a Serious Games layer to an existing game to finding a serious application for your game to attract cross-industry partnerships or collaborations:

“To start, adding a Serious Games layer to an existing game could present another revenue stream for developers looking for ethical and even impactful alternatives to controversial microtransactions,” says Lamba. “The addition of a layer focused on education may seemingly present challenges in the form of increased development time and associated overheads, the advantage to retooling or repurposing an existing codebase means a second product offering with a potentially new audience.”

“Finding a serious application for your game could attract cross-industry partnerships or collaborations. For indie studios especially, building associations with other, notable brands is tremendously helpful in earning visibility in a crowded marketplace and among new audiences. Assessing a game’s utility elsewhere is also inherently an exercise in identifying potential in a product that may have otherwise not been identified,” she adds.

Lamba points out that Serious Games are also an opportunity to drive innovation within an organization. Adding a serious layer to an existing game provides a tremendous opportunity to tinker with an existing codebase; or use a studio’s IP in a new format for rapid prototyping.

“While Serious Games have often been seen as a pursuit of industry outsiders, this wasn’t always the case. Game developers and publishers now have a tremendous opportunity to augment or build out serious products and attract a wider and diversified audience in the process,” Shivani Lamba concludes. 

Please find the complete article at