The New Zealand video game development industry grew by 46 percent, offering 359 equivalent full-time jobs in the 12 months to September 2011, according to the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA). The NZGDA surveyed 21 NZ game studios in September. Of those surveyed, the vast majority of these New Zealand studios were owned by people or companies that are from the region too, according to NZGDA chairman Stephen Knightly.
Around 114 game development jobs were created in the last 12 months to September, and local game developers expected to create around 99 new jobs in the next 12 months, according to the survey. Approximately 40 percent of these jobs would be for programmers, 40 percent for artists and 20 percent for managers. Studios taking part in the survey included Sidhe, SmallWorlds, Cerebral Fix, NinjaKiwi, and Grinding Gear Games. The studios surveyed also said they were developing 59 games collectively and 77 percent of these studios had self published their own original games. Around 73 percent of studios surveyed said that they produced games for iOS platforms in the past three years, 42 percent said they produced an online browser-based game, 30 percent developed console games, 35 percent created downloadable PC games and 35 percent created Android games.
“Unlike some other kinds of tech startups, interactive games studios have an large addressable market hungry for product and can generate cash-flow reasonably early in their history,” said Knightly.
Knightly added that NZ that game development studios are export businesses that increasingly retained their intellectual property in New Zealand.
“Globally, the games industry already earns more than Hollywood and local developers are getting their share of that pie,” he said.
The NZGDA said that 99 percent of games developed in New Zealand are designed for international markets, and digital distribution platforms are what make that possible. The NZGDA also claims that 23 percent of New Zealand studios have received some form of angel or venture capital funding in recent years.