It’s All in the Game

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From cars vrooming to Mario jumping, swimming and flying, the gaming industry has evolved from simple joysticks to 3-D entertainment. Little would have even Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr. and Estle Ray Mann – the first to file a United States patent application for an invention on “cathode ray tube amusement device” way back in 1947 – dreamt that the gaming industry would enter a world of virtual reality.

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Gaming, more popular as video games, was introduced with mainframe computers in university campuses. With the advent of home PCs, games like Pac-Man and Frogger came to the fore. By the 1980s, the gaming and animation industry started growing in leaps and bounds with Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPGs), and within a decade entered the era of PlayStation from Sony, Xbox by Microsoft and Wii from Nintendo – gaming consoles that revolutionized the art of playing from the 1990s.

An ever-increasing demand for more challenging games soon propelled the need for broadband facilities at supersonic speeds, better animation software and tools, powerful graphics processors, memory devices with enhanced storage capabilities, computing devices, 3D technology… and of course, the ability to transfer gaming from PC to TV and then to mobile phones. Such a demand automatically translated into an enhanced e-education, web designing, TV and broadcast, realistic visual effects and the creation of “virtual reality”!

Key players like Disney Enterprises and Dreamworks started cashing in on this growing market and patents in the gaming industry were being filed at breakneck speed. With players like Electronic Arts Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems Inc., and Sony Corporation entering the market, in 2010 alone at least $122 billion was pumped into developing gaming. Industry figures predict this number to rise to $243 billion by 2016, with a CAGR of 12.94%. The fastest growth rate, however, is being observed in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan, with an estimated CAGR of 19.08% from 2011 to 2016 alone, while North America holds the numero uno spot of the largest overall share in the gaming and animation industry with a whopping 42%.

Industry figures also show that consumers spent $25.1 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2010, and digital content purchases accounted for 24% of games sales the same year, generating nothing short of $6 billion in revenue. With at least 72% of American households actively participating in gaming, this is an avenue that’s slated for a huge growth curve in the coming years.

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Boolu Ann Gabriel

A baker by passion and a water sports adventurer, Ann enjoys analyzing world culture. Imagination and creativity reflect strongly in her patent analyses and her blogs mirror just that.

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