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NZ gamedev take hits $100 million

New Zealand’s game developers earned $99.87M in the financial year ending 31 March 2017 according to an independent survey of New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) studios. The number represents growth of 12% in the last year, up from to $88.9 million. 

“$100m is a great milestone to hit but our real goal is to grow a billion-dollar industry in New Zealand within ten years,” said NZGDA chair James Everett. “With some coordinated support to maxsimise our export potential, that’s achievable. Finland’s game industry earned over $4 billion last year, for example.” 

Game Development is a mix of two of New Zealand’s strongest sectors, creative and hi-tech, andnthe NZGDA survey announcement comes a day ahead of the announcement of this year’s finalists for the Innovation awards which has a number of categories for entertainment-related innovation.

The local game dev industry hosts its annual NZ Game Developers Conference at AUT on Thursday and Friday this week.

While the $100 million headline number (97% of it export earnings) and the growth are positives, the gamedev garden isn’t all roses. 42% of the country’s studios cite a skills shortage as a factor that’s slowing growth.

Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile was recently launched in China by Tencent, the world’s largest games publisher, which has also invested in Dean Hall’s studio Rocketwerkz.

Last year’s winner of the NZGDA’s KiwiGamestarter pitch competition, Grabity, is one of the NZ games selected to showcase at the PAX Australia Expo next month.



The data comes from a survey of 29 NZGDA studio members conducted by Tim Thorpe Consulting Limited. NZGDC tickets are available here.

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