Canadian economy boosted by gaming developers

Gaming continues to be an incredibly popular hobby for many around the world, and with the development of such incredible gaming software, the experienced enjoyed by gamers is constantly being enhanced - with technological advancements and huge budgets allowing the brainchilds of creative geniuses to be brought to life in evermore hyperreal ways.


The development of such games is now big business in North America, with many giants of the field operating from within Canada - providing socio economic prosperity, and establishing the nation’s place as a leading gaming developer, having already created some of the world’s most loved games.


The continued success of Canada’s gaming market is now worth an estimated $3.7 billion to the economy each year - a figure which has increased by 24% in just three years - so it’s not just the hours of entertainment that we have to be thankful for. Indeed, it is estimated that 90% of the multi-billion boost to Canada’s GDP comes from exporting games around the world, because sharing is caring.


Currently, the gaming industry provides around 40,600 jobs for Canadian citizens - an 11% increase since 2015. Indeed, the region of Quebec alone is home to almost 200 game development companies, while British Columbia is home to some 152, and Ontario 170. What’s more, this vast number of employees take home an annual average of $77,300, which is significantly more than the overall national average of $49,738, so this is not simply a cheap labour market, but a career pathway for skilled workers.


This job market looks set to develop even further in the coming years, as many smaller developers begin to establish themselves on the world stage and challenge the global giants - many of which already operate, at least in part, in some of Canada’s most influential cities.


For example, well-established gaming corporations such as EA and Ubisoft have long since laid down firm roots in Canada, so too have Rockstar Games, whose Toronto outlet played an integral part in the development of their most profitable and well-known work - the legendary Grand Theft Auto franchise.



Grand Theft Auto V - the most recent edition of the series. Image source: AliExpress


Ubisoft alone employs around 2,500 people in Canada, with several large branches across the nation, while EA famed for their chart-topping sports games, provide work for around 1,000 people at their Burnaby branch.


Meanwhile, competition comes in the shape of Hinterland Games, who, despite only becoming established as recently as 2012, have received wide acclaim for their one and only major development, The Long Dark. Of course, this is a firm still very much in its infancy, however, big things are expected in the coming years from the Vancouver-based developer.


Another smaller competitor worth keeping an eye on is the Toronto-based Capybara Games. Their innovative company worked its way up from producing simple mobile phone games, so more sophisticated developments such as Time Force, which was released on XBox One back in 2014. Fans of the popular Nintendo series ‘The Legend of Zelda’ may want to keep an eye out for Capybara’s latest brainchild, Below, which is due to be released in the coming months.


Canada’s gaming session doesn’t end here, however, with popularity of both online and offline formats continuing to develop apace. The online gaming sector is continuing its trend of worldwide growth, and last year Canadian Gaming Association put the total yearly purchased services at $14 billion and gross output at $31 billion, with these numbers expected to rise in the future.


That said, the expanding market is of course creating fierce competition, and this is forcing Canadian gaming developers to think carefully about which specific areas of the market to target. Data recorded between 2015 and 2017 indicated that Canadian firms increased output of games for all platforms apart from mobile, dropped by over 50%. 


A recent survey found that almost a third of Canadians favour casual games accessible via Facebook, such as FarmVille - the online game in which players develop and manage their own virtual farm, which involves the process of raising livestock and harvesting crops. FarmVille has since released the sequel, FarmVille 2, and continues be a popular, addictive game for many.


Meanwhile, console games such as the best-selling war-themed Call of Duty are the main source of online stimulation for around 27% of those surveys, while 13% enjoy the more interactive online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft. However, the emergence of traditional casino games transforming themselves into virtual online formats has begun to turn the tide, and they are taking the market by storm.


Online versions of casino favourites such roulette and blackjack have really captured the imagination of Canadian gamers, and this can be attributed to the fact that the online casino offers all the thrill and stimulation that comes with playing live games in a real casino, but at the players’ own convenience via a mobile or tablet app.



Online blackjack. Image source: canadacasinooffers


Such adaptations of traditional casino games now dominate the online gambling market, as players have access to real live games via a weblink. This also allows players to play for money, which always provides an added dimension of excitement to proceedings.


Furthermore, online slots games continue to grow in popularity, as developers strive to make their games more and more sophisticated in order to compete in the ever-expanding marketplace. The vast majority of games, whilst not interactive, are typically based on existing concepts such as well-known films, TV shows, or other popular games.


This new era in which the noise and the flashing lights of the casino meets expertly crafted game design is transforming the way in which online games are played, as well as the uses and gratifications that people get from playing them.

Key points

- The Canadian economy receives a significant amount of its GDP from gaming developing companies which operate within the country.

- Staff who work for these companies earn significantly more than the average wage in Canada.

- Some of the world’s most well-known gaming development companies are based in Canada, and several smaller ones are emerging too.

- Online games are becoming more popular with Canadians, as too are online casino games.

- Canadian gaming developers are avoiding the congested mobile marketplace.

- The necessity to make online casino games more enticing is changing the way in which they are played.

Mathieu Blake

Mathieu Blake - Internet Entrepreneur, loves technology, sports, the Montreal Canadiens, Poker, Poker chips, current events and travel. You will often find him Writing about different topics that interest him on websites and blogs. To submit an article, contact the website directly.