I was invited to Twitter Canada’s headquarters to hear Rishi Chadha, Twitter’s Global Head of Gaming, speak about trends developing in Canadian gaming. He had many interesting insights into our nation’s diverse and ever growing video game landscape. For me, gamers on Twitter have always been one of the best communities out there. They offer fun takes and great insights on both popular and niche titles.
Based on Twitter’s research, the #1 reason Canadian gamers use the platform is to learn about the latest titles and industry news.
A report done by the Entertainment Software Associated (ESA) of Canada in 2018 found that 61% of Canadians define themselves as a gamer. Over 23 million Canadians are gamers and of that there’s a 50/50 split between males and females. Canada is home to one of the largest per capita populations of video game players in the world according to the ESA. With these stats it’s clear you have an engaged audience just waiting for you to join the conversation.
As our country grows in all facets of gaming, from development to becoming a larger esports hot bed there’s a lot to say around the Canadian gaming scene. Let’s take a look at why you should join Canada’s rapidly growing online gaming conversation.
Canadian Gaming Trends
When it comes to Canadians sharing games on Twitter, we are a talkative bunch! Chadha revealed that in 2018 Canada had the 8th most tweets about gaming of any nation, considering our relatively low population, that’s a lot of tweeting! Video games are increasingly becoming one of the largest topics of conversation in the entire country.
Twitter helps to quickly identify these trends and can often lead to indie titles like Untitled Goose Game growing in audience and appeal. Following trends is also a helpful way to connect with like-minded gamers and reach communities with your same interests.
Trending games for the holiday season
When asked to identify games that will trend into the holiday season, Chadha had three titles top of mind: Death Stranding, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It’s great to see titles with strong story components poised to trend; they should make a big splash according to Chadha.
Based on the growth in online conversation that he’s seen, these games look to be the biggest players this fall. They even have the potential to carry much of the gaming conversation well into the new year until titles like The Last of Us Part II arrive in February.
Top 5 most talked about games on Twitter
In terms of the games that have Canadians tweeting most, Fortnite continues to lead the way. It should come as no surprise, as the recent “blackout event” stream reached 1.4 million concurrent viewers and was a record-breaking event for Twitter. In fact, Chadha recommends Fortnite as a key component to help launch a game streaming career.
Looking at the example of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Fortnite still carries a lot of power on Twitter. This has the potential to bring an engaged audience to your doorstep. As Chadha explains, “Looking at Ninja, he was playing a lot of different games, but Fortnite was the one that allowed him to create content and grow in a big way with its mainstream appeal.” It’s a high risk, high reward opportunity but one that has paid off for many streamers.
After the Battle Royale behemoth, Call of Duty slots in second and Overwatch in third. The Overwatch League, or OWL, drives a ton of content with its massive worldwide appeal. The recent introduction of two Canadian teams (the Best Buy Blog recently posted an article about the Vancouver Titans that covered a lot of details about the league) has further propelled this trend in Canada. Nintendo rounds out the top 5 most mentioned titles on Twitter with Super Smash Bros. in fourth and The Legend of Zelda in fifth. If you are hoping to generate discussion the top 5 games above are an excellent place to start.
Grow your audience
No matter what your hardware preference, sharing content is getting easier and continues to evolve online. Content is king and when it comes to your gaming experiences, you should share as often as possible. Chadha has found the biggest videos on Twitter were gameplay clips that were relatable to the average player.
It’s incredibly important to share content in order to grow an audience and get noticed. Chadha has some key advice, “Create a lot of videos, it’s one of the most engaging forms of content on Twitter. Share those favorite gaming highlights and moments.”
Momentous 8-bit occasions
Major gaming events continue to drive a massive amount of conversation in Canada. Looking at the top 5 events, major conventions and esports championship series dominate the list. E3 leads the way with its big game reveals and surprise announcement that thrill the community every June. Chadha pointed to organic events like Keanu Reeves’ “breathtaking” moment during Xbox’s E3 press conference which helped cement the conference at number 1.
Next on the list is Evolution Championship Series (EVO) where the best players in fighting games like Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat square off. Streams, live tweets and sharing results really generated a lot of talking points around EVO in Canada.
Events that celebrate video game culture and streaming celebrities like TwitchCon account for millions of impressions and mentions. To round off the list the Fortnite World Cup made quite the impression at number 4. The Call of Duty World League Championships generated a lot of conversation crowing new winners.
Canada vs. everyone
Another reason for gaming’s explosive growth on Twitter and other social media platforms is esports. The teams, tournaments and larger than life personalities that surround the scene have propelled massive growth in gaming. Specifically, in Canada the introduction of the OWL teams in the Vancouver Titans and Toronto Defiant have helped create new audiences.
What really sets Canadians apart from the rest of the world is our fierce loyalty to our home teams. Chadha revealed, “Canada is one of the markets where we see a lot of local fandom. The Vancouver Titans and Toronto Defiant are number 1 and 2 talked about esports teams in Canada. If you look at other places the teams change quite a bit and are not connected based on location.” No matter the platform, Canadians know how to stick together!
Ready. Set. Tweet!
It was great to visit Twitter Canada’s head office and learn about the evolution of the Canadian gaming landscape. Whether you are interested in keeping up with gaming news, reviews or events there is something for everyone. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to join the gaming conversation.
Let me know in the comments section below what games you like to talk about! What games are you excited for this holiday season?