The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) has released its annual Essential Facts, a snapshot of the Canadian computer and video game industry. The 2010 Essential Facts reveals that 39% of gamers (defined as someone who has played video games in the past 4 weeks) are spending more time playing games accessible through social networking websites.
Also of note is the fact that 7% of gamers use a mobile device (such as a cell phone or smart phone) most often to play video games – almost twice as many as in 2009 (4%). Gamers are also connecting their games with others through the Internet with 76% reporting online play.
“Social games are a growing part of the Canadian gamer’s repertoire – especially for women and teen girls – but they are only one of the many types of games that Canadians enjoy,” says Danielle Parr, Executive Director of ESAC. “While we’re seeing a shift in how Canadians are playing games particularly towards online games, console and computer games remain the principal way to play,” she adds.
Social games are mostly free, widely available and accessible through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. These games – including popular ones like Farmville, Mafia Wars and Cafe World – are quick to load, take only a few minutes to play and grow virally as users invite their contacts to join in. Research found that 35% of adult women and 37% of teen girls play social games. 26% of girls (6-12yo) play social games, with 38% report spending more time playing these types of games.
To read a full version of ESAC’s Essential Facts, which includes data on gamer demographics and gaming habits, information about the Canadian video game industry, ESRB rating awareness and updated charts on top-selling PC and video games, visit ESAC’s website at www.theesa.ca.
The research was collected through a comprehensive Internet survey using NPD Group’s Online Consumer Panel. Data was obtained from over 3,500 Canadians across the country identified as having played a video game at least once in the past 4 weeks. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 1.6%, 19 times out of 20.
ESAC is the voice of the dynamic and growing video and computer game industry in Canada which employs over 14,000 people. Association members include the nation’s leading entertainment software developers and publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft Canada, Nintendo of Canada, Sony Computer Entertainment Canada, Disney Interactive Studios, THQ, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and Take Two Interactive, as well as distributors Solutions2Go and Team One Marketing. In 2009, Canada’s video game industry accounted for more than $2 billion in retail sales of entertainment software and hardware and contributed over $1.7 billion in direct economic activity to the Canadian economy.