International Factfile: Canada

Canada is one of the world’s biggest video games markets and it continues to grow.

16,000 people already work in the Canadian video games industry, and 77 per cent of local games firms expect to hire new graduates this year, according to Entertainment Software Association Canada.

Of course, most of this will go into the development community – driven, as many in the industry know, by generous tax breaks. In the past, aspiring developers from the UK have been lured across to Canada by these financial incentives, but with the introduction of tax breaks over here in April, this may have less of an impact.

The nation is home to some of the world’s best-known developers, such as BioWare, EA Canada and Ubisoft Montreal. FIFA and Assassin’s Creed are just some of the chart-toppers created by Canadian talent.

The recent collapse of THQ has seen the powers shift slightly in the region. Ubisoft has added yet another studio to its empire with its acquisition of THQ Montreal, while Dawn of War studio Relic is now owned by Sega.

Retail still accounts for the bulk of game sales in Canada, with the majority of adults aged 18 to 55 purchasing their games from stores or websites.

Interestingly, women lean more towards digital outside of these age brackets, with 33 per cent of teen girls (aged 13 to 17) and 35 per cent of mature female gamers (over 55 years old) opting for free downloads before physical games.

Boys and men in both of these age groups still prefer boxed games. 90 per cent of Canadian gamers are children or teenagers (under 17 years old), meaning there is potentially a promising market for kids titles.

You can read all of MCV’s International Factfiles from 2012 in our free downloadable publications Around the World with MCV, in association with Click Entertainment.


Population: 33,476,688
Currency: Canadian dollar
GDP (Per Capita): $50,826
Capital City: Ottawa
Languages: English, French

Best Buy, EB Games/GameStop, Future Shop, Microplay, PlayNTrade, Walmart

E One, Importel, Just4Games, Solutions 2 Go, Vidoglobe

2K Games, Activision, Disney, EA, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Tecmo Koei, THQ, Ubisoft

2K Play, Aerosoft, Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M), Atomic Robot, Beenox, Big Fish Games, BigPark, BioWare (Edmonton and Montreal), Capcom Vancouver, Cyanide Studio, Disney Interactive Studios, Eidos Montreal, EA Canada/EA Montreal, Funcom, Gameloft, HB Studios, Hothead Games, Jet Black Games, Koei Canada, Next Level Games, Piranha Games, Relic Entertainment, Rockstar Toronto/Rockstar Vancouver, Silicon Knights, Strategy First, THQ Montreal, Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft Toronto, United Front Games, Warner Bros Montreal, Zynga Toronto

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