NPD: Bolstered by Children and Boomers, Canadian Games Market Growing at 'Unprecedented' Rate

Grab a Molson and whip out the maple syrup, Canada's video game industry has grown 56 percent over the last year.

NPD: Bolstered by Children and Boomers, Canadian Games Market Growing at 'Unprecedented' Rate

The U.S. video game industry handily dwarfs our Canadian brothers to the north, but it's easy to overlook how well the game market in Canada is doing. Today, we received a new report from The NPD Group in Canada, which points out that "children and baby boomers are entering the gaming market in droves, changing the traditional image of the young male as the quintessential gamer." This influx of new gamers – which was also discussed recently in the U.S. by IBISWorld – has led to Canada's video game industry growing at an "unprecedented" rate this year, NPD said. Canada's game market has generated revenues of more than $1.8 billion for the 12 months ending June 2008, which is a 56 percent increase over the $1.2 billion in revenue from the previous 12 months.

Similar to NPD's recent segmentation report in the U.S., NPD of Canada examined seven key gaming segments representing a game software market totaling $617 million (from Dec. 2007 – May 2008). Console gamers, who play on average 13.8 hours per week, captured the "lion's share" of the total market, followed by portable gamers and extreme gamers, NPD said. Overall, console gamers represent the largest segment of the market both in terms of number of gamers (29 percent) as well as share of software revenue (35 percent).

While the dominance of consoles is not surprising (year-over-year sales for PC games dropped 20 percent), NPD Canada notes that "children are entering the gaming market at younger ages while baby boomers have either remained active or have re-entered the market." It's this evolution of the gamer demographic that is aiding Canada's game industry growth.

"We were surprised to find that the standard of the classic young male as video gaming enthusiast has forever changed," commented Matthew Tattle, spokesperson for NPD Canada's Games group. "With the increasing adoption of a digitally-based lifestyle by the majority of consumers, it was only a matter of time before we would see gaming become part of the mainstream."

He added, "The gaming industry is alive and well in Canada with all signs indicating increased growth in the coming months and years ahead. As Canadians continue to embrace technology, companies will create games that reflect the sophistication and engagement that is now a priority for dedicated and casual gamers alike."

via GameDaily

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