Our recent report, “Game Over the West?” argued that Japanese companies dominate innovation in the gaming industry. We used LexisNexis Cipher Classification’s patent analysis and looked at which companies owned the most inventions overall and which had invented the most in the past decade.
Overall, the domination of the Japanese pachinko industry was remarkable, with few video game or Western gambling firms breaking the top 25. Needless to say, this level of domination from an industry little known outside Japan was surprising, and we wanted to return to the subject and understand these portfolios better.
With the acquisition of Cipher by LexisNexis Intellectual Property, we wanted to look more closely at the space using PatentSight’s detailed graphs and unique patent portfolio strength scoring system, the Patent Asset Index.
- The majority of gaming companies have shown a clear decline in their portfolio strength by using the Patent Asset Index, except for Sony and a few pachinko companies. Overall, quality innovation appears to be on the decline.
- Western companies have strong Patent Asset Index scores and are better represented than in the previous report. A strong reason is that they have better market coverage, investing in far more geographies than pachinko firms. Overall, they contribute to more global innovation, while Japan is more insular.
- However, Western companies are declining, with cross-licensing and monetization taking priority and portfolios shrinking.