Video Gaming in Canada: Its Popularity and Importance

The RateSupermarket study on gaming console indicates that Canadians enthusiastically support video gaming. A majority of the population engages in some form of video game activity, whether on a PC, game console (i.e. XBOX, Wii or PlayStation). Women are just as likely to be interested in video games as men, with 46 percent of Canadian women professing a passion for video gaming (versus 54 percent of men). Of course children under 18 make up a large percentage of video game players (90 percent) and video game systems can be found in 61 percent of Canadian homes.

Just why are video games so popular in Canada. One reason for the popularity of video games is the fact that some of the industry’s biggest players are located in Canada. EA Canada, a division of Electronic Arts, Inc. is headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia and Ubisoft Entertainment is the Montreal, Quebec headquarters of French video game developer Ubisoft.

  • How Much Do Canadians Spend on Gaming?

Canadians spend a good amount on video games of all types on an annual basis. $900 CDN or on average 15 games per Canadian purchaser are sold annually. This amount of spending results in annual revenues of $84 million CDN. Video games add $2.3 billion to Canadian GDP. The Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec generate spending in video games of $1.4 billion dollars in 2012. These three provinces also employ over 90 percent of the video game professionals and are home to over 70 percent of the video game companies.

  • What Types of Games Do Canadians Play?

The types of games that Canadians play depend on the age of the gamer. Looking at the demographics of video game players in Canada, of those surveyed by Entertainment Software Association of Canada who played a video game with a 4 week period of the survey, 90 percent were age 6-17, 59 percent age 18-34, 50 percent age 35-54, and 37 percent 55 and older. By gender and age, 35 percent of males 6-12 play video games on a console. 56 percent of these youth engage in action and adventure type games. Conversely, females of the same age engage in role playing games (45 percent) with 35 percent playing games on the computer. It should be noted that similar concerns regarding the content of games and their appropriateness is the same in Canada as it is elsewhere in the world, like the United States as an example. Canadian games subscribe to the Entertainment Software Rating Board system the same as for games sold in the United States.

Girls and boys age 13-17 also access video games differently and play different games as well. Boys prefer video game consoles; girls use mobile devices and cell phones. Boys prefer shooter games while girls prefer arcade type games. This contrasting trend continues between males and females until you reach the cohort age 55 and older. Here, older Canadians (male and female) share a love of card games (41 percent of males and 56 percent of females).

  • Is Video Gaming a Canadian ‘Thing’?

Canada as the third largest video game development industry in the world behind leaders Japan and the United States make video gaming a Canadian ‘thing’. The industry projects growth by 40 percent of its company’s over the next two years of 25 percent. This coupled with incentives and tax breaks given to the 329 Canadian video game development companies on the provincial and national level makes the survival of the industry important to the economic growth and well-being of Canada. Video game developers experienced growth in employment opportunities of 34 percent from 2006-2012 and make on average between $40 – $73K CDN. Supporting this industry by buying games that more often than not are developed, tested and made in Canada only fuels the continuance of this important industry.


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