StatsCan officially recognizes the video game industry in Canada

(TORONTO and OTTAWA, May 3, 2012) The Canadian Interactive Alliance / l’Alliance Interactive Canadienne (CIAIC) is pleased to announce that Statistics Canada has created two new industry codes — Video Game Publishing and Video Game Design and Development Services — which will provide the Government of Canada to have a better facility to create programs and policies.

Up until now, most video game developers were classified as custom software designers and website developers. The CIAIC and the Department of Canadian Heritage have been making proposals for the creation of industry codes for interactive digital media since 2005.

The introduction of these new codes to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) will now provide a more accurate measure for the Canadian games industry.

“These codes are revisted every seven years and the change process takes years of development. Without the codes, it was challenging to implement policies and programs because we had no official means to measure the success and size of the industry,” said Ian Kelso, CEO of the CIAIC, in a statement.

The absence of these codes was the catalyst for the CIAIC to create the Canadian Interactive Industry Profile (CIIP), Canada’s only comprehensive survey of the interactive digital media industry. The third edition of the survey is slated for publication later this year.

“Having video games being recognized by Statistics Canada is is the first step, but it’s only a portion of the interactive industry — there’s still skewed data when it comes to transmedia companies being recognized as TV companies, for example. We hope this will open the door for recognition of other interactive categories,” added Kelso.

While still under NAICS, the two codes apply only to Canada.

For more information and for interviews with Ian Kelso, please contact Emily Claire Afan at


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