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2010 Essential Facts About The Canadian Video Game Industry

Last week the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESA) released their 2010 report entitled: Essential Facts About the Canadian Computer and Video Game Industry.

In collaboration with the NPD Group’s 2010 Understanding the Canadian Gamer custom research, the comprehensive report gathered data from 2,579 Canadian adults, 398 Canadian teens (13-17) and 547 kids (6-12) and covers every area the industry, from who is playing video games to how gamers play online and as well as the top selling games.

I’ll summarize the key points in the report but to view the full 20 page report for yourself click HERE

So what did they find out?

The definition of a gamer for this report was someone who has played computer or video games in the past four weeks.

Who is playing?

  • 96% of Canadian households own a computer
  • 47% of Canadian households have at least one video game console, such as Xbox 360, PlayStation or Wii
  • The average age of the Canadian gamer is… 33 years old

How often do Canadians play?

  • 30% everyday
  • 45% a few days per week
  • 15% once a week
  • 5% once every few weeks
  • 4% once in the last 4 weeks

This is the category that particularly caught me off guard. Especially when you look at the break down of the ‘everyday’ and ‘a few days per week’ categories.

In the ‘latter category, Age 55+ gamers ranked third at 45%, and in the former ‘everyday’ category, Age 55+ gamers astonishingly ranked first at just over 36%.

That means people my dads age are playing video games more than anyone in the country.

My father is 55+ and retired, has a blown knee, bad hip and a panache for taking any opportunity to talk about where you can get the best burgers across southern Ontario – as well as how he “designed the jerseys for the Toronto Argonauts”.

He didn’t.

He played as a goalie for St. Louis back when they didn’t wear facemasks and has clearly taken one too many pucks to the head. That’s why I found it remarkable that other adults his age – and I assume just as bizarre as him – are playing more video games than young kids.

Although, I guess when you look at it logically, neither young kids nor retired adults have many responsibilities, families to look after and both groups have a surplus of free time on their hands.

Also, you have to take into account that this isn’t just console gaming. Social gaming on platforms such as Facebook and free-to-play browser games, has seen exponential growth in recent years, particularly among women age 45+.

What platforms are Gamers playing on the most?

Mobile Device – 7%

Handheld (DS, PSP) – 10%

Console – 34%

Computer – 49%

Gender of gamers

Women (18+ years):

  • 59% play video games online using a computer vs. 50% of men
  • 35% play video games online through social networking websites vs. 22% of men

Teen Girls (13-17 years)

  • 41% use a computer most often to play video games vs. 22% of teen boys
  • 38% use a game console most often to play video games vs. 71% of teen boys

Girls (6-12 years)

  • 36% use a computer most often to play video games vs. 24% of boys
  • 21% play video games on console vs. 42% of boys.

What types of games do women like to play?

57% puzzle, arcade or word games 41% games that challenge mental abilities 22% other types of games

what type of games do teen girls like to play?

43% music-based games 30% card, puzzle, arcade or word games 27% games that challenge mental abilities

what types of games do girls like to play?

58% kid-oriented online role-playing games 34% games that challenge mental abilities 22% art-based games

The Canadian gaming industry at a glance

  • Canada is the third most successful video game industry in the world
  • Employs 14,000 people in high paying jobs
  • Grew by 30% in 2009 and is expected to grow 29% annually over the next few years. That’s a huge statistic! There are very few industries in today’s economy that can boast the same.
  • 247 establishments
  • Average 57 employees per firm
  • Canada is expected to be the fastest growing entertainment media market in North America with 5% annual growth.

There is a great deal more in the full report and I encourage you to check it out, it’s a quick read. Clearly things are going well for the gaming industry in Canada and it is an exciting time to be in the industry making games, as well as being fans of the industry playing those games.

For more news and info you can follow me on Twitter @The_GeekJock

Images and report courtesy of our good friends at the ESA


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  2. mike says:

    Well looking at the pools they picked from it makes more sense that people your dads age play game considering…

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