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Canada Esports and Gaming Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Esports and Gaming - Canada market, 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 video game industry is establishing itself as part of the broader entertainment industry alongside TV, movies and music. There are as many consumers playing video games as there are following pro sports. And a by-product of this increasing demand in video games is the emergence of esports and video game streaming. Some consumers are now taking time to watch others play video games – either casually or as a part of a formal competition – in the same way they would watch TV.


This report investigates this type of behaviour – as well as video game consumption overall – in order to better understand it and put it into context within the broader gaming industry. Additionally, this Report looks into the future of video games with a specific focus on the potential for cloud-based gaming. The findings of this report are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help provide insight on an industry that continues to grow and evolve beyond its roots as a niche hobby into a mainstream activity.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

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

The video game industry has evolved over the decades from a niche subculture to a mainstream hobby. Along the way, some consumers started to seek out ways to watch others play – whether in official esports tournaments or more casual live streams. And many of these viewers also aspire to build their own legion of followers or compete against the best in the world on an international stage Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Most consumers play video games, and single-player remains popular
          • Figure 1: Ways of playing video games in past three months, December 2019
        • Consumers do watch others play video games but are still the minority
          • Figure 2: Video game viewing behaviours in past three months, December 2019
        • There is different demand for what games to play vs what to watch
          • Figure 3: Video games played vs games watched, December 2019
        • Cloud-based gaming has good potential, but gamers have concerns
          • Figure 4: Interested in using cloud-based gaming platforms, by type of gaming device, December 2019
        • Many aspire to succeed in esports and live video game streaming
          • What it means
          • The Market – What You Need to Know

            • Hardware is no longer a barrier to entry for gaming
              • Home internet is getting faster with higher limits
                • 5G networks mean faster mobile speeds
                  • Video game streaming channel battles are part of a larger competition
                    • In-game advertising creates another option for brands
                    • Market Factors

                      • Hardware is no longer a barrier to entry for gaming
                        • Home internet is getting faster with higher limits
                          • 5G networks mean faster mobile speeds
                            • Video game streaming channel battles are part of a larger competition
                              • In-game advertising creates another option for brands
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • The value of esports and streaming
                                  • How esports players and streamers get paid
                                    • Concerns about an esports bubble
                                      • Video game retailers are being pushed out by digital gaming
                                        • 2020 will be a year of new consoles
                                          • New entrants into the gaming industry
                                          • What’s Working?

                                            • The value of esports and streaming
                                              • How esports players and streamers get paid
                                              • Challenges

                                                • Concerns about an esports bubble
                                                  • Video game retailers are being pushed out by digital gaming
                                                  • What’s Next?

                                                    • 2020 will be a year of new consoles
                                                      • Figure 5: Xbox Instagram Post, December 2019
                                                      • Figure 6: PlayStation Instagram Post, January 2020
                                                    • New entrants into the gaming industry
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Video game playing habits
                                                        • Video game viewership
                                                          • Video game categories and channels
                                                            • The potential of cloud-based gaming
                                                              • Game streaming and esports as a hobby or career
                                                              • Video Game Playing Habits

                                                                • Most consumers are playing video games
                                                                  • Figure 7: Devices used to play video games in past three months, December 2019
                                                                  • Figure 8: Played video games in past three months, by age, December 2019
                                                                  • Figure 9: Devices used to play video games in past three months, by gender, December 2019
                                                                  • Figure 10: Devices used to play video games in past three months, 18-34s: Asian vs overall, December 2019
                                                                  • Figure 11: Razer Instagram Post, January 2020
                                                                  • Figure 12: Played video games in past three months, by region, December 2019
                                                                • Online gaming has momentum but has not yet taken over
                                                                  • Single-player games are still relevant, while multiplayer shifts online
                                                                    • Figure 13: Ways of playing video games in past three months, December 2019
                                                                    • Figure 14: Play video games on their own, by age, December 2019
                                                                    • Figure 15: Multiplayer gaming: online vs in-person, by age, December 2019
                                                                  • Online gaming skews heavily to young men
                                                                    • Figure 16: Play video games with/against other people online, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                    • Figure 17: Play video games with/against other in the same room, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                • Video Game Viewership

                                                                  • Some gamers are watching others play, but are still in the minority
                                                                    • Figure 18: Video game viewing behaviours in past three months, December 2019
                                                                    • Figure 19: Video game viewing behaviours in past three months, by age, December 2019
                                                                    • Figure 20: Watch video games (streaming or esports), by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                  • Watching video games is primarily for entertainment
                                                                    • Gaming streams and esports offer unique value to viewers
                                                                      • Figure 21: Reasons for watching video games, December 2019
                                                                    • Esports fans take the competitions seriously
                                                                      • Figure 22: Durham College Lords Instagram Post, October 2019
                                                                    • Watching video games is competing with playing video games
                                                                      • Figure 23: Reasons for not watching video games, video game players vs overall, December 2019
                                                                  • Video Game Categories and Channels

                                                                    • Popular games to play are not always popular to watch
                                                                      • Puzzle games are the most commonly played video games
                                                                        • Figure 24: Video games played, December 2019
                                                                        • Figure 25: Video games played, by age, December 2019
                                                                        • Figure 26: Video games played, by gender, December 2019
                                                                      • Battle royale games have a high demand for watching
                                                                        • Figure 27: Video games played vs watched, December 2019
                                                                      • YouTube is the leading source for watching video games
                                                                        • Figure 28: Platforms used to watch video games, December 2019
                                                                        • Figure 29: Mixer Instagram Post, August 2019
                                                                        • Figure 30: Platforms used to watch video games, gaming streams vs esports viewers, December 2019
                                                                    • The Potential of Cloud-based Gaming

                                                                      • Many video game players are interested in cloud-based gaming
                                                                        • Figure 31: Currently subscribe to a video game library, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                        • Figure 32: What is Stadia and How it Works – Everything You Need To Know Before Launch, October 2019
                                                                        • Figure 33: Interested in using cloud-based gaming platforms, by type of gaming device, December 2019
                                                                      • Lag is a concern for some consumers
                                                                        • Most consumers have sufficient hardware
                                                                          • Figure 34: Own a personal computer capable of running modern games, by household income, December 2019
                                                                      • Game Streaming and Esports as a Hobby or Career

                                                                        • Streaming is a goal for many video game viewers
                                                                          • Figure 35: Streamed myself playing video games in the past three months, by gaming activities, December 2019
                                                                          • Figure 36: Hope to have a successful game streaming channel one day, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                        • Esports is seen as an attainable goal for many
                                                                          • Figure 37: Hope to be a competitive esports player one day, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                                  About the report

                                                                                  This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                  • The Consumer

                                                                                    What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                  • The Competitors

                                                                                    Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                  • The Market

                                                                                    Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                  • The Innovations

                                                                                    New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                  • The Opportunities

                                                                                    Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                  • The Trends

                                                                                    What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                  Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                  Description