Video games are booming with the industry experiencing substantial global growth, and Canadian gamers appear to be getting in on the act too. A recent report suggested the Canadian video game industry has grown 23% since 2019, contributing over $5 billion to Canada’s GDP.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Canadians enjoy playing video games when some of the most popular games in the world are made right here in Canada. EA’s ‘FIFA’ series (EA Vancouver), ‘Mass Effect’ series (BioWare Edmonton), Ubisoft’s ‘Far Cry’ series, (Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto), and Square Enix’s ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Eidos Montreal) are just some of the success stories.
But what are the most popular online video games?
Most popular video games
- League of Legends
- Online Casino games
- Call of Duty
- Counterstrike: Global Offensive
- Animal Kingdom
Online Casino Games
Thanks to the province’s government ending the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s monopoly on iGaming, it has opened up the market to private operators. The legislation was eventually passed in 2021, and the new rules came into effect on April 4th, which means online casino games are now available in Ontario.
The change in the law is expected to boost competition in the sector and attract yet more gamers to try out the online casino experience. However, the new regulated market will ensure that operators meet rigorous standards of game integrity, fairness, player protections and social responsibility.
The casino game sector has already seen substantial worldwide growth, and analysts expect that trend to continue with Canadians. Classic games such as roulette, poker, blackjack, slots and more, have remained popular over the years because they are fun to play.
Online operators are providing gamers with an immersive and realistic casino gaming experience. There’s a wide variety of games on offer that are constantly updated, and players will never have to queue up to play their favourite game.
A full list of authorised operators is available on the iGaming website, plus every authorised site will display iGaming’s logo.
What is driving the growth of the gaming industry
While changes in regulations have played their part in increasing the popularity of casino games, there are other factors at play in the growth of the video games market.
The graphics and sound effects of today’s games provide players with an immersive and compelling gaming experience. But technology does not stand still, and its continued improvement allows developers to constantly improve their game offering with updates and enhanced features that keep players entertained and coming back for more.
New technologies that are currently transforming the market include, 3D, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Gaming. The use of these technologies in online casinos games is providing gamers with an authentic real-life casino experience, that allows real time interactive gaming.
The largest segment in the video gaming market is Mobile Games, with a market volume of US$746m in 2022. Analysts expect total revenue in this segment to reach a staggering US$750m by the end of 2022.
The increase in smart phone usage is the driver for this market as phones become cheaper and more widely used. Now, anyone with a mobile phone has access to thousands of games in the palm of their hands.
This ease of accessibility, means users can play their favourite games, anytime and anywhere they want, ensuring their game play fits around their lifestyle. It also opens up the gaming market to a wider demographic, as anyone with a phone is potentially a player.
The recent legislation change recognises that attitudes towards gaming, in particular sports gambling and casino games, are changing. What was once frowned upon or only legal in online ‘grey’ markets, is now considered an acceptable way for people to spend their leisure time.
Video games are no longer the domain for young males sat alone in their bedrooms, and figures show gaming amongst older groups is growing rapidly. A recent report also stated that video gaming amongst females accounted for almost 50% of the total players.
A profitable video games market attracts a lot of competition as more companies look to get in on the action. This competition drives game designers to constantly improve their game offerings, and ensure that players keep coming back for more.
New technology allows designers to push the boundaries of what is possible and millions are spent on devising and testing games before their release. Players are spoilt for choice, with thousands of games available to play, covering every genre and type of game imaginable, meaning there’s a game out there for everybody.
Canada is home to many exciting game design studios, such as Sarbakan, Relic Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, Next Level Games and Hot Head Games. In 2021, there were 937 active video game companies in Canada, a 35% increase on 2019. Much of this growth occurred in Ontario and Quebec which increased the national total by 137 active companies.
In 2021, video game companies in Canada generated over $4 billion in revenue.
The future of Canada’s gaming market
Driven by competition in the sector, improved technology and further relaxation of the laws and cultural attitudes, the number of Canadian gamers is expected to reach 14.9m by 2026. Canada’s gaming market has already seen significant growth, but it’s showing no signs of stopping.
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