The New Zealand Game Developers Association has announced that the country's video game exports have doubled over the past year.
Revenue earned from New Zealand-made video games and game apps more to $80.2 million in the year to 31 March 2014.
This is mostly thanks to digital distribution - 90 percent of the earnings were from digital software exports, primarily through the Internet and app stores.
Digital distribution platforms like the AppStore and Steam mean that New Zealand no longer has any significant disadvantage in the international games market due to distance.
“Interactive entertainment software is a hi-tech weightless export industry that creates New Zealand-owned IP and competes on a global scale,” says NZGDA Chairperson Ben Kenobi.
“With smart digital exports there is no upper limit on how many physical copies you can sell.”
50 percent of the earnings came from direct sales for video games themselves. That is a huge chunk of in itself. 12 percent came from contract work for other companies. 22 percent was from advertising and 9 percent from licensing and royalties.
The growth of the video game industry in New Zealand means there are now several hundred game developers now in the country.
There are now 450 full-time professional game developers with several more doing it on a part-time basis. New Zealanders spend over $295 million on gaming each year. This is more money than they spend on on music or watching movies.
Highlights from New Zealand interactive software businesses this year include:
- Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile has over 7 million players and won PC Gamer’s 2013 Game of the Year.
- PikPok’s Into the Dead had over 30 million downloads and its Dreamworks licensed title, Turbo FAST, crossed the 50 million download mark. Over 100 million users are registered on PikPok’s game platform.
- Gameloft Auckland’s Ice Age Adventures has been downloaded over 10 million times in the last month.
- NinjaKiwi’s Bloons TD Battles had over 10 million downloads.
- Outsmart Games’ social game Smallworlds grew by 6m registered users in 2013.
- Runaway’s Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary was the #1 top grossing iPhone educational game in 38 countries.
- Majic Jungle’s The Blockheads crossed 10 million iPhone downloads.