Introduction

The term interactive digital media (IDM) accounts for a range of digital content and experiences available through a variety of digital platforms such as PCs, mobile devices and game consoles. IDM in Canada is a growth industry that is quickly changing, driven by shifts in consumer behaviour and technology. IDM content includes but is not limited to video games, cross-platform entertainment, virtual and augmented reality content, web series, and e-learning and training products.

Industry Size and Economic Impact1

Revenues, Production Volume, and Employment

Distribution of Employment at IDM Companies, by Company Size
A bar chart showing the percentage of the salaried workforce (FTEs) employed at Ontario IDM companies of various sizes: small (less than 5 FTEs), medium (5-19 FTEs) or large (20 FTEs or more). The distribution of employment is shown alongside the % of total IDM firms in each company size category. The chart shows that large companies make up just 12% of Ontario IDM companies, but employ 70% of the workforce; medium firms represent 36% of companies and have 20% of the workforce. About half of Ontario’s companies have fewer than 5FTEs and they employ 10% of the IDM workforce.

Videogame Industry

Bar chart displaying the breakdown by platform type (mobile, PC or console) of global digital games revenue. Mobile represents the greatest proportion of revenues, followed by PC (primarily Free-to-play) and console (primarily Premium). Number of Video Game Studios in Canada by Region, 2017 and 2015
A bar chart showing the number of video game studios in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, the Rest of Canada and in the country as a whole, in 2017 compared to 2015. During this time period, the number of studios increased in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., but decreased in the rest of Canada (when considered as a whole). The total number of studios in Canada increased from 472 in 2015 to 596 in 2017.

Consumer Market

Trends and Issues

Growth rate and industry trends

Global and domestic issues

Government Support

Industry Recognition

Ontario is home to a thriving IDM industry that includes many independent firms creating award-winning products:

Profile current as of January 30, 2019

Endnotes

1 The following information on industry size, activity, revenue, and employment should be considered a snapshot of activity in the industry based on the best available information.

2 Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0452-01 Culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain, by province and territory, product perspective (x 1,000). (Accessed: January 30, 2019).

3 Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, February 2017, pp. 3-4, 33.

4 Statistics Canada, Table 12-10-0117-01 International trade of culture and sport products, by domain and sub-domain, and trading partner (x 1,000,000). (Accessed: January 30, 2019).

5 Statistics Canada, Table 12-10-0116-01 International and inter-provincial trade of culture and sport products, by domain and sub-domain, provinces and territories (x 1,000,000). (Accessed: January 30, 2019). Data is for the year 2014.

6 Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Profile 2017, February 2018, pp. 5, 87-89.

7 Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab, Pulse on VR: A Workflow and Ecosystem Study, 2017, p.17.

8 SuperData, 2018 Year in Review: Digital Games and Interactive Media, 2019.

9 PwC, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-2022, “Video games and e-sports,” June 2018.

10 Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), Canada’s Videogame Industry in 2017, September 2017, p. 11.

11 ibid, p. 2.

12 ibid, p. 28.

13 Hand Eye Society, Toronto Videogame Database Report, July 4, 2017. A prototype is available at http://tovgdb.smallcity.ca/.

14 ESAC, Essential Facts 2018, November 2018.

15 Statistics Canada, “Digital economy, July 2017 to June 2018,” August 19, 2018.

16 cited in Mary Meeker, Internet Trends 2018, Kleiner Perkins, May 2018, pp. 114-115.

17 ibid, pp. 82, 99.

18 ibid, p. 24.

19 Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., “Millennials Driving eSports Popularity,” June 13, 2017.

20 PwC, “Video Games and e-sports”.

21 ibid.

22 ibid.

23 ibid.

24 Frost & Sullivan data cited in Canada Media Fund (CMF), Trends Report 2019: Hold My Hand, January 2019, p. 38; ibid, pp. 38-42.

25 ibid, p. 44.

26 Cited in Department of Canadian Heritage, “New Realities, Limitless Possibilities: The Economic and Practical Implications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality,” Culture Statistics Strategy Newsletter, March 2018, p. 7.

27 CMF, Your Market Is Everywhere International Market Series: China, 2017.

28 PwC, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-22, “Virtual reality”.

29 ibid.

30 CMF, Trends Report 2019, pp.43-44.

31 CFC Media Lab, Pulse on VR, pp. 5, 18; IAB, Is Virtual the New Reality? A Market Snapshot of VR Publishing and Monetization, September 2016; Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, p. 14.

32 Independent Web Creators of Canada, Industry Profile of the Independent Web Series Creators of Ontario, June 23, 2014.

33 ibid, p. 25.

34 Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), State of Content Distribution, p. 15.

35 SuperData, pp. 9, 11.

36 CMF, Your Market Is Everywhere International Market Series: India, 2017.

37 CMF, Your Market Is Everywhere International Market Series Reports: Mexico, 2017; CMF, Your Market Is Everywhere International Market Series: South America, 2017; CMF, Your Market Is Everywhere International Market Series: South Africa, 2017.

38 “A new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement,” www.canada.ca, Accessed January 30, 2019.

39 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), “Economic Strategy Tables,” Canada.ca; The Innovation and Competitiveness Imperative: Seizing Opportunities for Growth (Report of Canada’s Economic Strategy Tables: Digital Industries), September 2018.

40 Jayson Hilchie, “Attracting Foreign-born Talent Can Take Canada’s Tech Sector Global,” Huffington Post, October 25, 2016; Press Release, “Video game industry welcomes new Global Talent Immigration Stream,” ESAC, June 12, 2017.

41 Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, pp.18, 21; Press Release, “Interactive Ontario announces diversity and inclusion initiatives,” Interactive Ontario, March 8, 2017; Interactive Ontario, A Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit for the Interactive Digital Media Industry, October 17, 2017.

42 CFC Media Lab, Pulse on VR, p.38.

43 SuperData, p. 9.

44 Pew Research Center cited in CMF, Trends Report 2019, p. 23.

45 Department of Canadian Heritage, Creative Canada Policy Framework, September 2017.