Description

“2022 has been an eventful year for gaming so far. The development of ‘live service’-style games permeates all aspects of the industry as brands try to find their own ‘Fortnite’ or ‘GTA Online’. The launch of Valve’s Steam Deck in February marks one of the most innovative developments in PC gaming in at least the past decade. On the console front, shortages persist but most consumers who have wanted a next-gen console have finally been able to get their hands on one, while developers have begun working on a releasing true ‘next-gen’ titles designed for these systems from the ground up. On the mobile front, the recent release of Activision Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal marks a bold step forward in aggressive monetization strategies. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be a gamer.”
– Michael Lloy, Senior Tech and Media Analyst

Key issues covered in this Report

  • What platforms do consumers play on? How often? What genres?
  • What are some general attitudes towards gaming monetization, advertising and platforms?
  • What do consumers spend money on when purchasing micro-transactions?
  • How much money have consumers spent on micro-transactions?
  • Which gaming subscription services are consumers subscribed to?

This report will help you to uncover opportunities and understand the key issues affecting your market. How? By giving you instant access to analysis and critical recommendations. It will also challenge routine thinking by providing fresh, new perspectives that energizes your thought processes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • Gaming trends outlook
                • Figure 1: Category outlook, gaming trends, 2022-27
              • Opportunities
                • Live service-style models and seasons are relatively easy additions to make to any game
                  • Developers and publishers should partner with streamers more for Gen Z engagement
                    • Challenges
                      • Brands pushing monetization need to find the line and avoid crossing it
                      • Market Factors

                        • Game industry revenue has grown significantly over the course of the pandemic
                          • Figure 2: ESAC Canadian games industry revenue breakdown, 2021
                          • Figure 3: ESAC game industry expenditure (% total), 2021
                        • Major acquisitions are poised to significantly alter the gaming landscape
                          • Global uncertainty has had unforeseen hardware consequences
                            • An incoming recession will absolutely impact sales
                                • Figure 4: Monthly movement in selected components of the Canadian Consumer Price Index, not seasonally adjusted, January 2020-May 2022
                              • Economic factors disproportionately impact Gen Z
                                • Figure 5: Canadian unemployment rate, monthly, seasonally adjusted, by age, January 2020 – May 2022
                              • Household savings are falling rapidly
                                • Figure 6: Canadian household savings rate, Q1 2019-Q1 2022
                              • Canada’s population is aging
                                • Figure 7: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 2000-40
                              • Canada’s increasingly diverse population will drive the gaming market moving forward
                                • Figure 8: Canadian population visible minority projections, yearly, 1981-2036
                              • Supply chain issues are projected to continue
                              • Competitive Strategies

                                • The live service model is a lucrative industry standard, but hard for brands to meaningfully execute on
                                  • Figure 9: Naughty Dog Twitter post, June 2022
                                • Cashing in on consumer goodwill can be profitable – but is it sustainable?
                                  • Figure 10: Diablo Immortal Twitter post, 2022
                                • International incidents place pressure on gaming brands to take a stand
                                  • Game development companies need to look internally as well
                                    • The Steam deck could be revolutionary, but stock issues persist
                                      • Figure 11: Steam Deck Twitter launch announcement, 2022
                                    • “Gaming as art” is not particularly accessible via mobile platforms
                                    • Gaming Trends – Fast Facts

                                      • The Gaming Consumer Profile

                                        • Overview
                                          • Two-thirds of consumers have played video games in the past month
                                              • Figure 12: Gaming device usage over the past three months, 2022
                                            • PC and console gaming remain male-dominated spaces
                                              • Figure 13: PC & console gaming devices used in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                                            • Women are driving a gender divide in mobile gaming
                                                • Figure 14: Mobile and non-gaming computer usage in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                                                • Figure 15: Zynga Instagram post, March 2022
                                              • Teen gamers are significantly more active than other demographics
                                                • Significantly more Asian Canadians utilized dedicated gaming platforms
                                                    • Figure 16: Gaming activity by platform, Chinese and South Asians vs overall, 2022
                                                  • South Asian Canadians are engaging heavily with mobile gaming
                                                    • Console gamers play less frequently than mobile or PC gamers
                                                      • Figure 17: Gaming frequency, 2022
                                                      • Figure 18: Gaming frequency, by age and gender, 2022
                                                    • Gaming PC users play games across all platforms more frequently
                                                      • Figure 19: Gaming frequency, by device, 2022
                                                      • Figure 20: ESO daily login rewards Twitter post, 2020
                                                      • Figure 21: Reasons for gaming, by device type, 2022
                                                  • Types of Video Games

                                                    • Puzzle games reign supreme
                                                      • Figure 22: Types of games typically played, 2022
                                                      • Figure 23: Types of games typically played, by age, 2022
                                                    • Platform activity is a great predictor for genre preference
                                                      • Figure 24: Puzzles and casino games played, by device played on in the past three months, 2022
                                                      • Figure 25: Shooters, RPGs and sports games, by device played on in the past three months, 2022
                                                      • Figure 26: MMORPGs, MOBAs, survival and battles games, by device played on in the past three months, 2022
                                                  • General Attitudes towards Gaming

                                                    • Overview
                                                      • Consumers generally enjoy playing games … and want more time to play
                                                        • Figure 27: Time-related gaming attitudes (% agree), 2022
                                                        • Figure 28: AFK Arena Instagram post, 2022
                                                      • There is an opportunity to engage time-strapped parents
                                                        • The desire to play more is highest among PC and console gamers
                                                          • Figure 29: Time-related gaming attitudes (% agree), by devices played on, 2022
                                                        • PC and console gamers have higher brand loyalty
                                                          • Figure 30: “I am loyal to the brand of gaming device I use” (% agree), by devices played on, 2022
                                                          • Figure 31: Insomniac Games Spider-Man PC announcement tweet, 2022
                                                        • Interest in gimmicks is fleeting, but brands can easily find a niche
                                                          • Figure 32: ”I’m interested in video games that include physical activity” (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                      • Monetization

                                                        • Overview
                                                          • In-game currency is the best bet for developers hoping to include micro-transactions
                                                            • Figure 33: Extra gaming purchases, 2022
                                                          • Women match men for cosmetic and progress boosters
                                                            • Figure 34: Extra gaming purchases, men vs women, 2022
                                                          • Spending habits on extra features are generational
                                                            • Figure 35: Extra gaming purchases, by age and gender, 2022
                                                          • Free-play one path to increase micro-transactions
                                                            • Figure 36: Extra gaming purchases, overall vs those willing to spend more money if game was free-to-play, 2022
                                                          • PC gamers were more likely to spend more money
                                                            • Figure 37: “Extra” money have you spent on features in the past three months, overall vs dedicated gaming computer users, 2022
                                                          • Gaming NFTs really haven’t taken off, and the future isn’t looking bright either
                                                            • Consumers have a higher threshold for in-game ad integration than micro-transactions
                                                              • Figure 38: Ad-related gaming attitudes (% agree), 2022
                                                            • Younger consumers have grown more accustomed to advertising in games
                                                              • Figure 39: Ad-related gaming attitudes (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                            • Mobile gamers and gaming PC users have the most ad-friendly attitudes
                                                              • Figure 40: Ad-related gaming attitudes (% agree), by device used for gaming, 2022
                                                            • Quebecers are less open to game boosts through ads
                                                              • Figure 41: Ad-related gaming attitudes (% agree), by region, 2022
                                                            • Consumer bandwidth for subscription services is a large hurdle
                                                                • Figure 42: Gaming subscription activity, 2022
                                                            • The Traditional Gaming Model

                                                              • Overview
                                                                • Nearly two-thirds of gamers would prefer more offline content for their games
                                                                  • Figure 43: Offline vs online gaming activity (% agree), 2022
                                                                • Interest in offline play only falls off for men after age 45
                                                                  • Figure 44: Offline gaming preference (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                • Quality offline content still remains a good way to drive brand loyalty
                                                                  • Figure 45: “I am loyal to the brand of gaming device I use” (% agree), overall vs those who’d like to see more offline content included in games, 2022
                                                              • eSports and Streaming

                                                                • Overview
                                                                  • Young men exhibit the highest interest in watching streamers play video games
                                                                    • Figure 46: Twitch stream viewership (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                  • Asian Canadians are a key demo for gaming livestreaming
                                                                    • Figure 47: Twitch stream viewership (% agree), Chinese Canadians and South Asians vs overall, 2022
                                                                  • Young Canadians are more interested in building a gaming career
                                                                    • Figure 48: Reasons for gaming, by age, 2022
                                                                  • Men dominate the competitive landscape, but some brands are trying to change this
                                                                    • Figure 49: Reasons for gaming, by age, 2022
                                                                    • Figure 50: Women in Games Twitter post, 2022
                                                                  • eSports endorsements can be a good way to sell hardware to consumers
                                                                    • Figure 51: Gaming hardware (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                    • Figure 52: Razer Kraken Kitty YouTube promotional post, 2021
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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