27 Mar 2013

Game developers seek more recognition

1:37 pm on 27 March 2013

New Zealand's flourishing game developers are calling for more support as a creative export industry as they target a bigger slice of the $87 billion global market.

Several New Zealand game studios are attending the world's largest Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week to raise their profiles and seek new funding and commercial partners.

The fledgling New Zealand industry has almost doubled the number of people it employs in the last two years to 450 and more than two-thirds of its revenues are generated by original game sales and royalties .

Tim Nixon is a director of Dunedin-based Runaway Play, the games division of the documentary film maker NHNZ, previously known as Natural History New Zealand.

He said New Zealand studios have had their most successful year selling their games through smartphones and websites, with six of the world's top 10 iPhone games coming from New Zealand.

Mr Nixon said the industry deserves more support from government agencies which fund new technology or creative innovations.

"There's quite a lot of money that does go towards, say, film and literature and performing arts," he said, "and these are all very well established creative mediums. But it would be nice for games to be recognised - not just for huge commercial potential but the creative potential of them."