Worldwide, the gaming industry has boomed. Not only is it a highly lucrative industry for businesses (from marketing teams to developers to players), but the rising number of casual gamers has helped pave the way for adult gamers to get involved. Canada is no exception to this trend.
In fact, when taking a closer look, Canadians are some of the most active gamers in the world. A study from Media Technology Monitor found that more than half of Canadians (55%) were playing online games monthly in 2022. Of that number, 39% were playing on smartphones and tablets, highlighting the popularity of casual gaming. On average, Canadian gamers spend around 14 hours a week playing casual games.
Another study from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) found that a whopping 74% of study participants consider gaming as the main form of entertainment that lets them have fun. Along with enjoyment, participants said gaming helped relieve stress, reduced anxiety and fed their need for social connection.
So, what’s behind the huge number of Canadian gamers? Is there a particular reason that so many Canadians have turned toward virtual titles to pass the time? Let’s explore.
Open to iGaming
Canada is uniquely placed in the gaming industry. In fact, for decades, it has been at the forefront of iGaming markets. Compared to other countries, Canada is particularly welcoming to virtual casinos, which are regulated and licensed at the national level. This means that locals have access to popular online markets, as well as access to physical casinos.
But standard casino games are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, a platform like PokerStars Casino offers all the casino games one can think of, along with all the latest innovations. Blackjack players, for example, can choose between multiple variations. One of these is a live dealer game, which connects players to real-life dealers who are live-streamed to their devices. In other words, Canadians don’t just have access to casino games, but some of the coolest new innovations in the market.
Home to Legacy Developers
Along with virtual casinos, Canada is also home to a handful of legacy video game developers. These include EA Mobile Montreal, Ubisoft Montreal, BioWare, and Relic Entertainment—to name a few. The success of these companies has helped keep mainstream attention on gaming. But behind the scenes, it’s all about tax breaks.
The Canadian government offers highly appealing tax credits for gaming developers that operate within its borders. In fact, up to 40% of salaries paid at these companies are reinvested into the companies. Because salaries are a huge cost, this has wooed many top-tier legacy developers to set up shop in Canada.
Because of this preferential tax treatment, some of the world’s greatest gaming minds have ended up in Canada for work. Today, there’s an informal conglomeration of leading gaming professionals in places like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon, thanks to Canada’s open-armed approach to gaming developers.
A Seasonal Schedule
So far, we’ve outlined two of the most straightforward reasons that Canadians love gaming. First, they have access to some of the world’s top titles. Second, some of the top developers in the world are active around the country. But there’s another huge appeal for locals—and it’s all about knowing how to spend downtime during the winter.
While many residents in the Great White North spend a good portion of the year indoors, some bundle up and explore places like Canada’s Wonderland. However, those rugged outdoor adventurists who prefer the warmth of the indoors need to find a way to pass the downtime. Gaming is one of the best options on the market. Above, we outlined some of the main reasons that Canadians enjoy gaming, which included social connection.
During the winter months, when getting out of the house might be more difficult, gaming offers a respite in which players can entertain themselves and connect with others. Even in the realm of virtual casino games, which aren’t usually considered social, players can interact with a real-life dealer straight from their couch.