Boost for game development sector takes shape

The Government and game development sector are gearing up to roll out the support announced in Budget 2023, Minister for the Digital Economy & Communications Ginny Andersen said today.

“The Government moved in the Budget to provide certainty for the growing and important game development sector with a $40 million per annum funding boost, and the focus has quickly shifted to delivering the scheme,” Ginny Andersen said.

“We’ve already consulted on the scheme’s framework and principles and today discussions move to the most effective way to deliver it.

“It’s an ambitious sector with big plans to build on the $400 million it brought in last year.

“The Government has swung in behind with a 20 per cent rebate that is designed to help grow and retain gaming studios in New Zealand.

“This is the latest in our plan to invest and support innovative businesses and sectors that grow our exports and economy. 

“Individual studios that meet the minimum $250,000 expenditure threshold a year will be able to receive up to $3 million a year in rebate funding, backdated to 1 April 2023.

“Feedback on the scheme opens today and will be considered from 6 July, with the scheme’s outline expected to be announced by October. Pending the consultation, registration for the scheme will start later that month, with successful applicants starting to receive funding from mid-2024.    

“I’m also confirming today that NZ On Air has been selected to administer the scheme.

“It has experience administering contestable funds, and already provides some funding for children’s games, through which it has developed a good relationship with the game development sector.

“I’m confident NZ On Air will be able to get this support up and running quickly and efficiently.”

Key dates:

  • Deadline for feedback on the scheme closes 6 July 2023
  • Outline of finalised rebate scheme announced September - October
  • From October, NZ on Air will communicate with firms about how they can apply for the scheme
  • Firms will be paid out for the full first year of the scheme (1 April 23 – 31 March 24) following the end of the financial year.

More information on the consultation for the rebate scheme can be found here.