NZ gaming industry sees rapid growth

New Zealand’s video gaming industry revenue grew 43 percent in the year to March to NZ$595 million ($400 million), most of it earned from exports, and is expected to rise again in the current and coming years.

The Chair of the New Zealand Game Developers Association Michael Vermeulen says that success had come from studios developing and exporting their own original game IP, rather than contracting for publishers or Hollywood studios.

Exports of digital creative entertainment software earned over ninety percent of the revenue and the number of jobs in the sector also grew by ten percent.

Mr Vermeulen cites the association’s survey of members that similar growth is expected in coming years, with 63 percent of studios expecting growth of more than ten percent.

The 10 largest studios in New Zealand earned 94 percent of the revenue and employed 81 percent of the staff.

“While those trailblazers have proved games can be a sustainable and profitable business, we’re not seeing a pipeline of new fast-growing studios to join their ranks.”

Last month, Auckland-based Ninja Kiwi’s ‘Bloons Tower Defence 6’ became the No 1 paid app in the world, ranking above Minecraft, on both the Apple and Android app stores.

This year another New Zealand company, Grinding Gear Games, was acquired by the world’s largest games publisher Tencent for over $100M – one of the largest tech exits in New Zealand history.

In 2012 total sales of under $20 million were recorded.