TORONTO, September 12, 2016 – To mark National Video Game Day, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) today released new stats about Canadian gamers. The new research features demographic profiles, stats on device usage, video game acquisitions and ESRB ratings awareness. Survey results highlight that more people are playing games on mobile devices than any other platform, that more than half of all Canadians are gamers and that women are playing video games just as much as men.

“There’s no doubt anymore that video games are entrenched in popular culture and entertainment,” said Jayson Hilchie, President and CEO of ESAC. “Mobile games have exploded in popularity; top charts for mobile apps are routinely dominated by video games. Pokémon Go is a great example of a successful mobile game that has combined the popular adventure genre with a nostalgic franchise on an innovative Augmented Reality (AR) platform. No longer relegated to arcades and basements, video games are omni-present thanks to the mobile games phenomenon.” added Hilchie.

Phones and tablets are now the most popular game platforms. Although ownership and game play on video game consoles has remained steady since 2014, 41% of Canadians reported playing video games on mobile devices most often. That’s a huge jump from 2012 when only 6% reported playing on mobile devices the most often.

What’s more, the mobile games phenomenon has captured the attention of new audiences, particularly the female demographic. Female gamers are now playing 9% more on a daily basis with their mobile device than their male counterparts. Through continuous innovation and technological changes, mobile has become the leading platform to play video games among the female demographic.

Many Canadians do not even consider themselves to be gamers even though they regularly play on mobile devices. When asked if they considered themselves a “gamer”, a modest 38% of Canadians self-identified as such, when in fact, 52% of Canadians have played a video game in the past 4 weeks – the threshold by which ESAC measures game play. Among those who did not consider themselves to be a “gamer”, 79% reported actually playing games on a mobile device in the past 4 weeks, highlighting the role of mobile games in bringing new players to the medium as a whole.

Additional stats on device ownership, demographic profiles and ESRB ratings awareness will be released on ESAC’s Twitter feed today to mark National Video Game day. Follow @ESACanada for more.

About the research

ESAC partnered with NPD to conduct demographic research about Canadian gamers, video game usage, awareness of ESRB ratings and general attitudes towards video games. NPD surveyed 2467 adults, 270 teens and 261 kids, both English and French, male and female from across the country.

About ESAC

ESAC is the voice of the Canadian video game industry. ESAC works on behalf of its members to ensure the legal, regulatory and public affairs environment is favourable for the long-term development of Canada’s video game industry, which now contributes $3 billion to Canada’s GDP. Association members include the nation’s leading interactive software developers and publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft Canada, Nintendo of Canada, Sony Computer Entertainment, Disney Interactive Studios, Other Ocean, Glu, Take Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Ludia, Silverback Games, Square Enix, Relic Entertainment, Roadhouse Interactive, United Front Games and Gameloft as well as distributors Solutions 2 Go and Team One Marketing.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Julien Lavoie, Vice-President of Public Affairs at ESAC
jlavoie@theESA.Ca or 416-620-7171 ext. 248