This is the first book that comprehensively describes the history of the game software industry in Japan. A major objective here is to identify the key determinants of the emergence of the business, the maturing of the market, and the changes brought about by innovations, based on the history of the Japanese industry. To date, similar books have focused only on particular topics of the game software industry, such as the success of Nintendo and Sony and the uniqueness of the Japanese industry. There are no books that interpret the development process of this industry from the point of view of innovation. To fully understand the business and derive insightful lessons from it, however, requires a careful and thorough examination of its development process.
Currently, many companies aim to improve efficiency by using information and communications technology (ICT), but it is difficult to maintain a balance between the pursuit of efficiency and the encouragement of creativity. In the case of Japan’s game software industry, firms have pursued higher efficiency in product development to build competitive advantage, resulting in a low rate of radical innovation and causing the slow growth of the industry.
In certain situations, the development activities that target the creation of new products may, in themselves, hinder the creation of truly new products. This book conceptualizes this phenomenon as a “development productivity dilemma” and clarifies the mechanisms behind it.
The dilemma, like the productivity dilemma in the manufacturing industry, evokes a certain innovation pattern and prevents potential growth. Understanding the lessons from the game software business presented in this book, managers, researchers, and policymakers can gain insight into the mechanisms leading to industrial maturity and clues to avoid the development productivity dilemma.