According to a new forecast from market research firm Metaari, the serious game industry is heading into a boom phase. It seems like we’ve been waiting for this since the 1990s, but finally the K-12 education sector is expected to see a massive surge in game-based learning. This is good news for those who create, teach, or train using games and sims in which the primary objective is learning or practicing a skill.
Metaari reports that game-based learning worldwide will grow at a robust compound annual growth rate of 33.2% over the next five years, and revenues will more than quadruple to reach $24 billion by 2024. This is a significant revision upward from previous forecasts. Metaari attributes the increased growth of game-based learning to eight major catalysts, three of which are: 1) a massive spike in private investment going to serious game developers, 2) large-scale distribution agreements, and 3) an intense period of merger and acquisition activity.
“The number of large-scale distribution agreements between Game-based Learning companies and global partners spiked in 2017 and 2018. The market for Game-based Learning is validated when large international companies acquire educational game developers. The big companies don’t create markets; they wait until large revenues are clearly visible before they ‘buy their way in’,” said Metaari CEO Sam Adkins.
The new report has 488 pages, 126 forecast tables, and 19 charts. There are three sections in the report: a detailed analysis of the eight catalysts, a demand-side analysis, and a supply-side analysis. The demand-side analysis provides revenue forecasts for seven regions, 52 countries, and eight buying segments. The supply-side analysis provides five-year forecasts for each of the 11 different types of serious games.
“This is the first serious game market report to forecast five-year revenues for AI-based learning games,” said Adkins. “It is a relatively new type of learning game that has just come on the market in the last three years. We are now able to calibrate revenues by analyzing the baseline data we have collected over the last three years. The global growth rate for AI-based learning games is a robust 34.6% and … in the US is dramatically higher at a breathtaking 56.5%.”
Overall, the future of game-based learning looks bright. The US is the top buying country, and a great deal of detail is provided for the US in the report, but the report includes over 2,100 serious game suppliers operating in 122 countries around the world. “It is the most comprehensive report of the serious game market ever published,” Adkins said. The report also breaks down the forecasts into three sub-segments: preschool, primary and secondary. The buying behavior is quite different in each academic sub-segment.
Adkins presented the key findings from the report titled The 2019-2024 Global Game-based Learning Market at the Serious Play Conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 26th. The full report was published by Serious Play Conference on August 1, 2019. The Serious Play Conference is a leadership conference for those who create serious games/simulations as well as those who implement game-based learning programs. Speakers include the most experienced developers and designers in the industry, the top academic researchers, and senior program heads from education, corporate, healthcare, government/military, museums and other areas.
Sam S. Adkins, CEO of Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight), has been providing ethics-based quantitative market research on the global learning technology industry for more than 25 years. He tracks the learning technology markets in 122 countries and has the most complete view of the international learning technology market in the industry. Metaari focuses on identifying revenue opportunities for advanced learning technology products that utilize psychometrics, neuroscience, game mechanics, robotics, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.