The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, a surge in demand for realistic gaming experiences, the proliferation of powerful gaming hardware, and growing importance of technologies such as VR headsets, motion tracking systems, haptic feedback devices, and high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs). In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Online gaming in technology: immersive gaming. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Immersive gaming is a key innovation area in online gaming

Immersive gaming denotes a gaming encounter that completely engrosses the player’s senses, constructing an exceptionally lifelike and interactive virtual setting. This entails incorporating technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to elevate the gaming experience and deliver a more authentic and engrossing gameplay.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 220+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of immersive gaming.

Key players in immersive gaming – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to immersive gaming

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) 164 Unlock Company Profile
Supercell 86 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 12 Unlock Company Profile
ZeniMax Media 41 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 48 Unlock Company Profile
Nintendo of America 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Interactive Entertainment 78 Unlock Company Profile
Dwango 11 Unlock Company Profile
Konami Digital Entertainment 38 Unlock Company Profile
InvenSense 21 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Disney Enterprises 17 Unlock Company Profile
Universal City Studios 48 Unlock Company Profile
Razer Asia-Pacific 32 Unlock Company Profile
BANDAI NAMCO Studios 30 Unlock Company Profile
NetEase (Hangzhou) Network 37 Unlock Company Profile
SQUARE ENIX 13 Unlock Company Profile
SteelSeries ApS 25 Unlock Company Profile
Cygames 63 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 87 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe 34 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Interactive Entertainment America 82 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Interactive Entertainment 142 Unlock Company Profile
COLOPL 67 Unlock Company Profile
Bigben Interactive 12 Unlock Company Profile
Square Enix 52 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 164 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 40 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 11 Unlock Company Profile
Gree 15 Unlock Company Profile
BANDAI NAMCO Games 9 Unlock Company Profile
Capcom 14 Unlock Company Profile
Novomatic 24 Unlock Company Profile
Immersion 140 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 550 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nintendo 507 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 29 Unlock Company Profile
Team Lab 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hal Laboratory 9 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 99 Unlock Company Profile
WinView 65 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 11 Unlock Company Profile
SUGATSUNE KOGYO 11 Unlock Company Profile
Valve 19 Unlock Company Profile
Play Impossible 9 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 22 Unlock Company Profile
Wikipad 118 Unlock Company Profile
Nant 91 Unlock Company Profile
Cubios 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in immersive gaming, Nintendo is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at describing a portable gaming system that comprises a user-gripped housing with an accessible liquid crystal display, along with user-operable input devices integrated into the grip. It is equipped with a connector to connect to portable storage media containing video game programs. The system utilizes two sets of processing circuitry: one for handling video game programs following a first program specification, and another for processing programs following a distinct second program specification. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Tencent and Immersion.

In terms of application diversity, Novomatic leads the pack, while Nant Holdings and Play Impossible stood in second and third positions. By means of geographic reach, WinView held the top position, followed by Microsoft and Magic Leap

Immersive gaming represents a pivotal shift in the gaming industry, offering players an unprecedented level of engagement and realism. It transports gamers into intricately designed virtual worlds where they can interact with environments and characters in a deeply intuitive manner. This heightened level of immersion enhances the overall gaming experience, making it more captivating and memorable. Immersive gaming is not only a source of entertainment but also serves as a powerful tool for education, training, and simulation. With the continual advancements in technology, particularly in VR and AR, the potential for immersive gaming to revolutionize how we engage with digital content is substantial.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.