Revenue for the New Zealand game development industry grew by 86% in 2012, the New Zealand Game Developers Association announced today.
The growth was spurred by the success of mobile games with NZ-made mobile games recording over 130 million downloads in the last year. International sales of smartphone and online games accounted for $31.4m of the total $36.3m revenue for 2012.
Some recent NZ releases include Path of Exile (developed by Grinding Gear Games) which has an audience of 3.2m PC gamers, and #1 charting iPhone games such as MiniGolf Matchup by RocketJump, and Robot Unicorn Attack 2 and Giant Boulder of Death by PikPok.
"The success of New Zealand’s games industry continues to come from digital distribution via AppStores and websites and the fact that we develop and own our ideas. Original IP means we have higher margins and grow audiences over time. Many of the hit Kiwi games aren’t one-offs but are franchises with loyal fanbases that will earn money for several years to come,” says Stephen Knightly, chair of the NZGDA.
According to the NZGDA, there are 448 full-time equivalent professional game developers in NZ, up by 18%. Of those, 37% are artists and 32% are programmers, with additional roles mainly in marketing and customer support.