Serious Games pp 303-318 | Cite as

Serious Games—Economic and Legal Issues

  • Stefan Göbel
  • Oliver Hugo
  • Michael Kickmeier-Rust
  • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen


Serious games are fascinating, not only as a popular research field, but also as a relevant economic factor for the prospering game industry. The use of advanced gaming concepts and game technology applied to non-leisure contexts (e.g., education, training, health) is a logical and promising approach, but acceptance by the gaming industry itself (game developers, publishers), intermediaries (e.g., training departments in a company investing into recruiting or qualification programs), and consumers (individuals, groups; private persons, customers, employees and trainees) is low so far, and a market breakthrough of serious games is still missing. What are the reasons for this? The reasons are manifold, ranging from (a) low development budgets and poor quality of existing serious games to (b) the complexity and cost-intensive, multidisciplinary development of serious games matching the needs of individuals and groups and (c) missing scientific evidence that proves beneficial effects of serious games. Further, legal and security issues such as intellectual property rights, data protection, and privacy—particularly in the context of personalized educational games, or games for health improvement and behavior change—represent major challenges in the complex field of serious games. This chapter tackles the economic side of serious games and explains major challenges and obstacles that currently hinder a market breakthrough. It starts with an overview of the current status quo of the serious games market. Then, economic insights and trends, business and distribution models, and legal issues are discussed.


Game Development Creative Industry Educational Game Game Market Digital Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Göbel
    • 1
  • Oliver Hugo
    • 2
  • Michael Kickmeier-Rust
    • 3
  • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen
    • 4
  1. 1.Technische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences in AschaffenburgAschaffenburgGermany
  3. 3.Graz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  4. 4.Serious Games InteractiveCopenhagenDenmark

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