Kiwi video games industry sees 30 per cent increase in jobs

Monsters Ate My Metropolis, the latest game from Welington-based studio PikPok.

Monsters Ate My Metropolis, the latest game from Welington-based studio PikPok.

The New Zealand games industry workforce has grew by 30 per cent in the last financial year, according to the latest figures from the NZ Game Developers Association (NZGDA).

New Zealand game studios created 134 new jobs last year, bringing the sector up to 568 fulltime employees. Revenue is also up on the previous year, but only by 3 per cent, with the NZGDA citing a lack of the establishment of new businesses as the reason for slower growth than previous years.


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“We expect a good year ahead for the established games studios, but we’re concerned that our pipeline of up and coming studios has dried up. Tellingly, every local games business with more than 10 employees is at least six years old.  We haven’t seen another local success scale up in recent years,” said Game Developers Association Chairperson Stephen Knightly.

“Although we have a proven track record, skills and the ability to reach global markets digitally, the survey highlights a scarcity of startups on track to become the next generation of sustainable studios. Since games are global and digital in nature, with a good prototype it is possible to attract crowdfunding, publishing deals or private investment. But a gap in investment at the early stage is preventing small independent developers from even getting that far.”

Last year, the NZGDA launched KiwiGameStarter competition, which sees one promising games business receive funding, software, and business mentoring support worth over $25,000 and a runner-up win $5000 plus software. Submissions for this year’s competition close on August 28, and four finalists will present to a judging panel at the NZ Game Developers Conference on September 10.


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