Serious games are promising, but need more investments

Wellbeing and education are examples of areas that can benefit from serious games. These games could form a completely new export branch for Finland if business models are built carefully and private investments increase.

Serious games are games that combine educational purposes with entertainment. The value of the global serious games industry is between two and five billion USD and annual growth rate is 17 percent.

Finnish Serious Games Industry Report 2016 was conducted by Serious Gaming Cluster Finland ry on Tekes’ assignment. The value of the Finnish serious games branch was nine million euros in 2015. In 2016 the value is estimated to climb to 17 million euros. There are approximately 80 serious games companies in Finland.

Examples of successful Finnish serious games companies are TeacherGaming LCC, and Cuckoo Workout. Virtual and augmented reality are promising future technologies in serious games.

Funding is the biggest obstacle

Serious games companies are usually started with founder funding. Most important funders are Tekes and ELY Centres. Private investments are a minor way of funding due to game quality fluctuation, lack of entertainment perspective and cultural differences between the West and Asia.

In order to make serious games more attractive for investors, Finland could build a scientific model for evaluation of serious games impact and testing environment for global companies to soft launch their products.

"Finnish entertainment game industry has been very successful and serious games show good potential too. With a skilled team, innovative business concept and commitment to rapid international growth Tekes can share the costs and risks of R&D and hence support company business development. This is an advantage many rival countries do not have", says Tekes’ game business adviser Kari Korhonen.

Read the Finnish Serious Games Industry Report 2016 (pdf, 16,6 Mb)


Kaj Nordgren
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