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Industry evolution and cross-sectoral skill transfers: a comparative analysis of the video game industry in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom

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  • Hiro Izushi
  • Yuko Aoyama

Abstract

In this paper we explore the interrelationship between technological progress and the formation of industry-specific skills by analysing the evolution of the video-game industry in three countries: Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. We argue that the cross-sectoral transfer of skills occurs differently depending on national contexts, such as the social legitimacy and strength of preexisting industries, the socioeconomic status of entrepreneurs or pioneer firms in an emerging industry, and the sociocultural cohesiveness between the preexisting and emerging industries. Each country draws on a different set of creative resources, which results in a unique trajectory. Whereas Japan’s video-game industry emerged out of corporate sponsorships in arcades, toys, and consumer electronics industries and drew skills from the comic book and animated-film sectors, the video-game industry in the United States evolved from arcades and personal computers. In the United Kingdom the video-game industry developed bottom-up, through a process of skills formation in the youth culture of ‘bedroom coders’ that nurtured self-taught programmers in their teens throughout the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiro Izushi & Yuko Aoyama, 2006. "Industry evolution and cross-sectoral skill transfers: a comparative analysis of the video game industry in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(10), pages 1843-1861, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:38:y:2006:i:10:p:1843-1861
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    1. repec:spr:anresc:v:58:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00168-016-0805-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cabras, Ignazio & Goumagias, Nikolaos D. & Fernandes, Kiran & Cowling, Peter & Li, Feng & Kudenko, Daniel & Devlin, Sam & Nucciarelli, Alberto, 2017. "Exploring survival rates of companies in the UK video-games industry: An empirical study," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 305-314.
    3. Gintare Morkute, 2014. "Growing surrounded by decline: do the growing sectors benefit from sharing a labour pool with declining sectors," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1584, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Patrik Ström & Evelina Wahlqvist, 2010. "Regional And Firm Competitiveness In The Service-Based Economy: Combining Economic Geography And International Business Theory," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 101(3), pages 287-304, July.
    5. Haefliger, Stefan & Jäger, Peter & von Krogh, Georg, 2010. "Under the radar: Industry entry by user entrepreneurs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1198-1213, November.

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