Mobile gaming – Canada’s unstoppable phenomenon  

For as long as there have been mobile phones, there has been mobile gaming. Those of us who were around a quarter of a century ago will remember those Nokias with Snake and Tetris, or perhaps playing endless games of solitaire on our brick-like Blackberries.  

That seems a long time ago. As phones have become more technologically advanced, so have the games that you can play on them. Yet with every passing year, playing games on our mobile devices doesn’t just remain popular. It is actually growing, to become one of the most popular pastimes in Canada, and a hugely lucrative component of the nation’s leisure and entertainment industry.  

Where is this growth coming from? 

The year-on-year increase in mobile gaming’s popularity comes from two directions. First, there is the simple fact that more people are playing mobile games. Every year, a new cohort of youngsters get their first phone, but there is little corresponding drop-off at the other end. Gaming is no longer something we “grow out of” and while five years ago, we were talking about the older members of the gaming generation nudging 50, today, they are nudging 55.  

Secondly, gamers are abandoning other gaming platforms if favour of mobile, simply because they can. Even today’s mid-range smartphones have processing power to match a mid-range laptop. Mobile brings portability and convenience, so why bother firing up a cumbersome console or PC when you can play the game just as well on the handset that’s right there by your side. The result? Today, mobile gaming in Canada generates more revenue than PC and console gaming put together.  

What games are people playing? 

Mobile platforms can now handle any sort of gaming. Even eSport is making the transition, and games like Arena of Valor are likely to be the Dota 2 for the new mobile eSport generation.  

Remember what we said about people now playing games into their 50s? More mature gamers want more mature games, and for those, there is only one place to look. Canada is one of the fastest growing markets for online casino gaming. It is a growth that has been accelerated by the strange events of 2020, but even so, the 20 percent increase in players on previous years is significantly more than that for the UK or USA. The casinos are offering an ever-growing range of games to keep their visitors entertained and if you browse the different casino platforms on a site like, you will see that they all have scores, even hundreds, to choose from.  

For those who prefer to keep their money in the bank, there are other casual games that also have a particular attraction to older gamers. Minecraft is a game that takes you back to basics and has a retro, 80s feel – it has been downloaded by more than 100 million players, and Canada is third in terms of number of downloads, behind only the USA and UK. 

Other games like Words With Friends hark back to the pre-internet age and appeal to even older generations. There are few better ways to engage at a safe distance with elderly relatives than over a game of Scrabble – and so it is that the mobile gaming phenomenon continues to expand its audience.  

Photo: SCREEN POST, Unsplash