CEG study shows growing influence of local gaming cluster


ALBANY — New analysis of U.S. patent data by the Center for Economic Growth has revealed that the Capital Region’s video game cluster isn’t just releasing new video game titles — it’s innovating by creating new ones. video game technology.

CEG, part of the Capital Region Chamber, found that video game patents originating in the Capital Region have doubled in the past three years – a huge achievement for a region that got its first video game patent in 2008 when local video game icon Karthik Bala invented a video game stylus used on Activision’s “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” game.

Bala and his brother Guha joined Activision three years earlier when the company they founded, Vicarious Visions, was acquired by Activision. “Guitar Hero III” has reached over $1 billion in sales, according to CEG.

CEG’s analysis revealed that since Karthik Bala’s breakthrough invention, 37 video game patents have been filed including local inventors in the video game industry, half of them in the past three years.

And a tenth of all Activision patents filed in the United States list someone working in the company’s Vicarious Visions office in Colonie.

While most people think of video game development as writing software, video games are becoming more interactive using virtual reality headsets and other devices that use hardware innovations that can be protected by patents.

“In particular, new growth areas such as (virtual reality and augmented reality) that blur the lines between physical and digital gaming with unique use of hardware and software are ripe for innovation,” Karthik said. Bala to CEG in his latest newsletter to members. “New patents in this area may be rooted in games technology, but have the potential to transform the world in a much broader way.”

Karthik and Guha Bala, who started Vicarious Visions in Troy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s business incubator, have since left Activision and started their own video game company called Velan Studios in Troy, where the local gaming cluster is located. video games. Velan was granted its first video game patent last year. The brothers also have a video game investment company called Velan Ventures.


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