Pamela Kato has a list of ten tips for making a successful serious game, it’s unclear what successful means here but I assume it’s a combination of the game’s reach and the game’s sustainability. Both in terms of market-based success.
Here’s points 6 and 7:
6) Figure out who will buy the game. If an individual (e.g., parent) or organization (e.g., insurance company) will buy it and give it to the target group, listen to them and make sure you cater to them. But remember that ultimately, you have to make the target group happy.
7) If you ever have a conflict between researchers, business people, developers, artists, etc., go with what the target group wants.
Making serious games is a serious issue and I think she missed the most serious part of serious games and that is FUN, seriously. Why so serious?
If the game isn’t fun then nobody will play it no matter how meaningful the play experience may be.