Canadian Video Game Industry Contributes $4.5 Billion to Economy

Published: November 19, 2019 11:30 AM /


Canadian Video Game Industry cover

The Canadian video game industry is pretty big and it's grown a healthy amount in the last two years. It's so big, in fact, that it contributes more than $4.5 billion to the country's economy.

One might struggle to think of a notable game that comes out of the Canadian video game industry, but a quick glance at some of the biggest reveals of the last few years shows heavy Canadian involvement. AnthemGears 5, and Far Cry 5 were all mostly developed by companies headquartered in Canada. It's a big country, although game development is still primarily focused in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

According to a report released by Nordicity in partnership with the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, Canadian game development is chugging along nicely, showing growth across the board in pretty much every measurable metric with one exception: salary.

Although the number of employees has increased across the board, salaries have gone down by 2% on average across the nation. While this might seem like game devs are getting pay cuts, Nordicity believes that it's actually due to an increase in the proportion of newer junior employees being hired. These new employees obviously wouldn't be making as much as established veterans, and enough of them have been brought on to bring down the overall average.

Canadian Video Game Industry company size chart
Of the 692 game developers in Canada, 55% are Micro (<4 employees), 31% are Small (5–25 employees), 5% are Medium (26–59 employees), 4% are Large (60–99 employees), and 5% are classed as Very Large (100+ employees).

Canadian Video Game Industry Growth Outpaces Canada's GDP

While the Canadian video game industry has been growing, it may be surprising to learn that the growth in this industry has outpaced the growth of the Canadian economy as a whole. Here's what Nordicity had to say in their report:

Nordicity estimates that the video game industry directly contributed an estimated $2.6 billion to GDP in Canada in 2019. The industry also generated $1.9 billion in indirect and induced impacts. The total GDP contribution is estimated to be $4.5 billion, which is 20% higher than in 2017. In comparison[,] the Canadian economy grew by 5% inover the same period.

Canada is home to many great creative forces, with companies like Ubisoft, The Coalition, and Bioware holding offices somewhere within our chilly neighbor to the north — nevermind the hundreds of smaller indie developers that are cranking out all kinds of cool new games. You can read the full report from Nordicity [PDF] for all the fine details.

What do you think of the Canadian video game industry contributing so much money to the nation's economy? What's your favorite game from a Canadian game developer? Let us know in the comments below!


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