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Canada Attitudes Toward Gaming Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Attitudes Toward Gaming, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

The focus of this report will be to investigate what share of consumers play video games, the reasons for playing vs not playing and the overall attitudes towards video games. As will be shown in this report, the market is at a turning point between younger consumers who are focused on online gaming, eSports and watching others play while older consumers prefer to use games to relax and disconnect.

Because of the rapid change in the video game market – and the likelihood of more change in the coming years – it is worthwhile to investigate the current behaviours and attitudes around video games. The findings of this report are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help provide clarity on an industry that has grown to the point of being considered a major entertainment source, on par with TV, movies and music.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Video games represent an exciting part of the technology industry. Not only are they fun to play, but they have evolved exponentially in both technological capabilities as well as market appeal. Today, the majority of Canadian adults are playing video games – whether it’s on a dedicated console, a personal computer, a smartphone or a tablet. And with the growth in online gaming, eSports and video game streaming services, the market is going to continue its evolution in the years to come. Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • It may not be worth the effort to convert non-players into video game players
            • Figure 1: Reasons for not playing video games, November 2018
          • Gaming culture is improving, but consumers have new concerns
            • Figure 2: Negative attitudes towards gaming, November 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Most consumers play video games
              • Figure 3: Video game usage, November 2018
            • Video game players are looking to have fun and relax
              • Figure 4: Reasons for playing video games, November 2018
            • Recommendations are a key driver of new game trials
              • Figure 5: Drivers to try a new video game, November 2018
            • Asian consumers represent a big opportunity for the gaming industry
              • Figure 6: Video game usage, Asian Canadians vs overall, November 2018
            • The video game market is still evolving
              • Figure 7: Positive attitudes towards gaming, November 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Canada’s young adult population is growing
                • Consumers own the hardware needed to play video games
                  • Commute times are beneficial for the gaming industry
                    • Increased ethnic diversity could increase video game consumption
                    • Market Factors

                      • Canada’s young adult population is growing
                        • Figure 8: Canadian population among 18-24s and 25-34s, 2005-17
                      • Consumers own the hardware needed for playing video games
                        • Commute times are beneficial for the gaming industry
                          • Increased ethnic diversity could increase video game consumption
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Steam is giving players more choice and developers more opportunity
                              • Gaming companies are capitalizing on nostalgia
                                • Consumers are reluctant to play video games differently
                                  • Streaming is entering the gaming market
                                    • Gaming is becoming a potential career path
                                      • Free-to-play games are disrupting the market
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Steam is giving players more choice and developers more opportunity
                                          • Gaming companies are capitalizing on nostalgia
                                          • Challenges

                                            • Consumers are reluctant to play video games differently
                                              • Figure 9: Kinect for Xbox 360 – Kinect™ Sports, June 2010
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Streaming is entering the gaming market
                                              • Figure 10: PlayStation Now Subscription – 650+ PS4/PS3/PS2 Games, November 2018
                                              • Figure 11: Xbox Game Pass – E3 2018 – Game Preview Trailer, June 2018
                                            • Gaming is becoming a potential career path
                                              • Free-to-play games are disrupting the market
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Video game usage
                                                  • Reasons for playing video games
                                                    • Barriers to playing video games
                                                      • Drivers of new game trial
                                                        • The culture of gaming
                                                          • The ongoing evolution of gaming
                                                          • Video Game Usage

                                                            • Most consumers play video games
                                                              • Figure 12: Video game usage, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 13: Video game usage, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 14: Video game usage, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 15: Video game device usage among video game players, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 16: Video game device usage among video game players, by gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 17: Video game usage, by kids in household and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 18: Video game device usage, Chinese Canadians vs overall, November 2018
                                                            • PlayStation is the current leader in a competitive console market
                                                              • Figure 19: Video game console ownership, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 20: Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ownership, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 21: Video game console ownership, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 22: Video game console ownership (NETs), by gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 23: “I consider myself a gamer”, by console owned, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 24: Nintendo console ownership, by console ownership, November 2018
                                                          • Reasons for Playing Video Games

                                                            • Fun and relaxation are the key drivers for video games
                                                              • Figure 25: Reasons for playing video games, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 26: Play video games to have fun and relax, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 27: Play video games to connect and compete, by age, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 28: Reasons for playing video games, by device usage, November 2018
                                                            • Killing time and escaping daily life are secondary reasons to play
                                                              • Figure 29: Play video games to kill time and escape daily life, by financial situation, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 30: Play video games to kill time and escape daily life, by device usage, November 2018
                                                            • Connecting and competing online are important, but have their limits
                                                              • Figure 31: Play video games to connect with friends/family, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 32: Play video games to compete with others, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 33: Play video games to connect and compete, by device usage, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 34: Play video games to connect or compete (net), by age, November 2018
                                                          • Barriers to Playing Video Games

                                                            • Lack of enjoyment and time to play are key barriers to gaming
                                                              • Figure 35: Reasons for not playing video games, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 36: Reasons for not playing video games, by age, November 2018
                                                            • Gaming culture is not a major barrier to consumption
                                                            • Drivers of New Game Trial

                                                              • New game sales are a key revenue stream
                                                                • Figure 37: Get months of use from a video game, by device used, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 38: Like to play games that are currently popular, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Recommendations are a leading influencer for trying new games
                                                                • Figure 39: Drivers to try a new video game, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 40: Try new games based on recommendations from family/friends, by device used, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 41: Try new games based on reviews, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • Companies can leverage sequels and demo games to drive trial
                                                                • Figure 42: Try new games because they’re part of a series, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 43: Try new games because they’re part of a series, by device usage, November 2018
                                                            • The Culture of Gaming

                                                              • Attitudes towards gaming are evolving positively
                                                                • Figure 44: Being good at video games is cool, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 45: Being good at video games is cool, Asian Canadians vs overall, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 46: Being good at video games is cool, by device usage, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 47: I consider myself a gamer, by device usage, November 2018
                                                              • Gaming still has some negative attitudes to overcome
                                                                  • Figure 48: Concerns with video games, play video games vs don’t play video games, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 49: Concerns with video games, by age, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 50: Insulted by other players while playing online, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                              • The Ongoing Evolution of Gaming

                                                                • Online gaming has caused the biggest shift in gaming behaviour
                                                                  • Figure 51: Usually play video games online, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                • eSports and video game watching are creating new content
                                                                  • Figure 52: Have gone online to watch others play video games, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 53: Have gone online to watch others play video games, Asian Canadians vs overall, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 54: Enjoy watching others play video games, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 55: eSports are as important as traditional sporting events, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                                • Access to games and console usage is evolving
                                                                  • Figure 56: Use gaming console for more than gaming, by age, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 57: Free-to-play games make me less willing to spend money on games, Asian Canadians vs overall, November 2018
                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                • Data sources
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Terms