Canadians are known to be quite fond of games of every type, ranging from brain puzzles to social nights with board games to sports that are insanely popular in the country, like hockey. But who knew that Canada was setting out to make quite an impact in the video game world, too? According to data from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the country’s gaming industry is making quite a name for itself.
From Casual Games to Online Casinos: Canadians Simply Love Games
According to a survey that studied what types of video games Canadians favor most, the most highly ranking are the usual suspects. Almost 32% prefer to play casual games like those found on Facebook, while over 27% lean towards FPS games like Call of Duty and only slightly more than 13% go for Massively Multiplayer Online games like World of Warcraft. Canadians are also fond of traditional games like casino games – which have recently seen a boom in the virtual world. If you take a look at screenshots and info about Dunder, one of the most popular Canadian online casinos, it is easy to understand why the success: the online casino world offers a little bit of everything to Canadians, from online slots to table games like roulette, baccarat of blackjack – even online scratch cards and live dealer games are available. Combining the convenience of playing from home with the conventional excitement that goes with casino games has made the industry quite popular, both within the country and abroad.
Development Studios Boost Canadian Economy
Even though Canadians often show off their gaming skills online, it is the rise of Canadian developers that has caught the attention of analysts. According to ESAC, the industry of game development in Canada finds itself among the largest across the world. Gaming development businesses contribute some $3.7 billion every year to Canada’s GDP annually. This marks a 24% rise since 2015, when the relevant figure reached $3 billion reported in 2015 – and a lot more than the general 4% growth rate of the country’s economy during the same period. The gaming industry has also produced many more job positions across the country, reaching a total of roughly 40,600 jobs. This means an increase of 11% since 2015, while the average pay per employee in the industry is $77,300 annually – again, significantly higher than the 2016 average national salary of $49,738 across all economic sectors.
Ontario Leads the Race against Quebec and B.C.
The same study reports that although the industry is booming, growth is not allocated equally across provinces. Quebec is home to 198 game development companies, including big players like EA Montreal and Ubisoft Montreal – but also quite a few smaller companies, too. However, the number of jobs provided by these studios has slightly decreased recently. British Columbia has actually seen an increase in job positions across the 152 studios active in the province, but only around 7% since 2015. Ontario, with over 170 active gaming studios, has seen the biggest increase: 52% rise in jobs in the industry since 2015, which translates to some 3,800 positions.
Even though the playing field may not be even across the country, it seems that the gaming industry provides a particularly fruitful opportunity for growth – and one that Canadian economy will surely welcome.