Game Development rebate to strengthen emerging industry

Digital Economy and Communications

The Government has finalised the design of the Game Development Sector Rebate scheme, following a constructive period of consultation with the sector, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Ginny Andersen announced today.

“We received valuable feedback from the sector on the draft design that was put out for consultation earlier this year. We took on board many of the suggestions and adjusted some criteria to better fit the sector’s operational practices,” Ginny Andersen said.

“We’re keen to make this a smooth experience and for that reason, we have included a pilot application process for year one, to enable NZ On Air to stress-test and fine-tune its administrative processes for the rebate.

“The Government recognises the world-class potential of our game development sector in New Zealand. This investment into the industry will be another step forward to growing and retaining our innovative creators and state-of-the-art talent.

“The sector is a creator of weightless exports and high-skill, high-wage jobs – aligning with the Government’s vision for a low-emissions, high-wage economy, and helping to lift our productivity and wealth. The small but fast-growing industry strongly contributes to the country’s GDP, bringing in over $400 million in revenue last year.”

Through Budget 23, the scheme will provide $40 million per year to deliver and administer the rebate scheme.

The pilot will enable eligible businesses with anticipated expenditures of $5 million or more to submit a partial year claim for expenditure already incurred in the six months from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023.

This initiative will help NZ On Air set up an efficient and straightforward application process that will work for all applicants. It will also have the benefit of getting some funding flowing to the sector as soon as the October–December 2023 quarter.

“The rebate will strengthen the game development sector and support our studios developing New Zealand-owned intellectual property.

“Now that we have laid out the foundations for the scheme, we are leaning in to further advance the game development sector in New Zealand,” said Ginny Andersen