Boosting game development, interactive media

  • Hon Clare Curran
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Government Digital Services

Growing the international profile of New Zealand’s game development sector will be a key focus of a new study, announced today at a Techweek event by Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran.

The research, led by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech), will map the landscape of New Zealand’s interactive media sector, which includes game development and consumer augmented and virtual reality apps.

“The interactive media industry is an exciting and emerging part of New Zealand’s creative tech sector. Our game development sector in particular is growing at a very encouraging pace,” Clare Curran said.

”Overall, our creative industries are worth nearly $3.848 billion to GDP and the technology sector’s contribution to GDP is more than $16.2 billion. But these figures are outdated and there’s an urgent need for better measurement.

“Gaming is one of the most commercially viable examples of creative tech and is New Zealand’s fastest-growing creative industry earning over $100 million annually. Last year there were 500 professional game developers working in New Zealand studios.

“New Zealand is traditionally very good at creativity and innovation, and our technology sector is already the third biggest contributor to our economy. But I’d like to see how we can combine these strengths and build on them.

“Great things are already happening in the tech sector, especially where it aligns with other creative industries, and I’d like to see how the Government can support taking our expertise to the world.”

The research will explore future opportunities for the sector, provide an up-to-date snapshot of the industry and analyse how it can contribute to the country’s economic, educational and social prosperity.

“As with other creative technologies, game development and other types of interactive media can have applications across a range of sectors - from economic development to job creation, education, healthcare, Māori development and culture. As a result, there’s no one part of government responsible for developing policy,” Clare Curran said.

“This research will be a valuable resource to inform the direction of government policy and industry initiatives, and provide a useful foundation for future collaborations between the industry and government.”

Ms Curran also says the research will help inform her goal of growing New Zealand’s creative tech sector and the wider digital economy.

“I’m committed to growing the creative technology sector. While this research focuses on one part of it, it will unlock important information on New Zealand and overseas markets, and identify industry opportunities and challenges that can apply more widely.”

A report on the research findings is scheduled for release in late 2018.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is funding the research, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is providing additional support.