A Breakdown of Canada’s Videogame Industry, the Third Biggest in the World

58% of Canadians are gamers, according to the most recent annual report from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

The report, titled Essential Facts About the Canadian Computer and Video Game Industry 2012, reveals a slew of interesting statistics about gaming in Canada. For example, more females have become gamers and now account for 46% of all Canadian gamers. But there are still distinct differences between male and female gamers: in almost all age groups, females favour game genres such as arcade, educational, puzzle, and word, while males prefer shooter games and action and adventure games.

According to the report, 61% of Canadian households own a game console, 80% own a smartphone or tablet, 90% own a computer. Nearly half of all gamers play multiple days per week.

With all these active gamers, it’s no surprise that Canada has the third largest video game industry in the world (behind the US and Japan) with more than 16,000 people directly employed across almost 350 companies. The industry’s impact on the Canadian economy clocks in at over $1.7 billion annually.

The report reveals that only 12% of gaming companies in Canada are large (employing more than 151 people) but account for well over half of all total employment. Nearly one-third of gaming companines in Canada are “micro” (five or fewer employees) and almost half are small (50 or fewer).

Canada’s gaming industry is still focused on traditional console game development and publishing, the report says, but that is “changing rapidly.” In 2012, 2% of resources were dedicated to social gaming, 2% to casual gaming, and 7% to mobile gaming.

Quebec boasts by far the most industry jobs (more than 8,200) with BC in second (over 3,800), while Ontario is poised for the most growth (21%) this year. The three provinces house the vast majority of gaming companies in Canada.