Video games are good business in Canada.
Consider these statistics from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada:
- 23 million Canadians (roughly 61% of the population) are gamers, with an average age of 34 years,
- There are 692 active studios in Canada – a 16% increase since 2017,
- The industry has created 27,700 full-time jobs (up 28% since 2017) and 48,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the industry,
- The average full-time industry worker in Canada makes $75,900 annually, and
- Canada’s video game industry contributes $4.5 billion annually to this country’s GDP – a 20% increase since 2017.
Companies active in this sector in Canada include large operators such as Ubisoft and WB Games Montreal, industry pioneers like Digital Extremes, and smaller, independent studios including Vancouver-based Hinterland. Game Industry Career Guide ranks Canada third in its list of top countries for game development studios, with Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto touted as the country’s top development cities.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed the video game industry’s momentum in Canada. ESAC’s 2021 Annual Report states that not only did the Canadian video game industry not suffer from pandemic-related lockdowns and slowdowns, it benefited from increased consumer sentiment; housebound Canadians spent more time playing games and used them as a way to stay in touch with friends, engage with their children, and – perhaps most importantly – as a way to improve their mental health.
The industry as a whole was able to remain flexible and adaptable during the pandemic. As per ESAC’s report:
Not only did games become the product of choice for consumers, our industry also successfully migrated almost 30,000 direct employees to remote work and maintained development on games that were due to launch during the pandemic. In most cases, games were released as planned and on schedule, a testament to the high-calibre management found in our industry, along with our ability to adapt to uncertainty and adjust to new norms.ESAC’s 2021 Annual Report
Momentum is not expected to slow in the years ahead. Statista research suggests that video game revenue will reach USD $1,499.00 million in 2022, with projected market volumes reaching USD $2,129.00 million by 2026. The greatest growth is expected to come from the mobile games sector, which is projected to reach USD $746 million this year.
Companies that provide goods and services to the video game sector may find opportunities in the Canadian market.