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Ready player one: Games development grows in NZ

Paul Brislen, Editor. 06 September 2017, 6:51 am

An industry worth $100 million a year with most of that revenue from exports, growing at 12%. That's how the Game Developers Association (NZGDA) describes the New Zealand computer game industry in all its forms and is up from last year's total of around $89 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," says New Zealand Game Developers Association Chairperson James Everett. "With some coordinated support and our export potential, that's achievable. Finland's game industry earned over $4 billion last year, for example." 

One area of concern for the industry is the skills shortage, with 42% of studios reporting that skills shortages were restricting their ability to grow. In demand skills include programmers, artists, designers, producers and writers. Around 500 people are employed in the industry, with 55% of those employed as independent contractors.

Conversely, women only account for 17% of employees, something which might help explain the shortage of staff.

While Auckland and Wellington attract the largest number of studios (13 and eight respectively) there are signs of life in the regions as well.

The NZGDA annual conference is taking place in Auckland this week, kicking off with the NZGDA AGM and a meet-up at AUT's campus on Wellesley Street.


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