With a booming gaming and tech industry, the New Zealand Game Developers Association, together with Immigration New Zealand, is launching an all-out campaign at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to inspire the best and brightest gaming minds to grow their careers in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s game development sector is flourishing with sales growing 143% per year over the past two years. Revenue from outside the country topped NZ$72 million in 2013-2014, up from just $16 million in 2011-2012 – it’s expected to top NZ$100 million this year. Foreign revenue accounts for 90% of game developers’ income, with the US, Australia and Europe making up the largest markets. The demand for skilled workers is far outpacing supply, and companies are eagerly looking to American and international talent to fill some of the vacancies.
“We’re creating our own original ideas and IP, not simply taking on outsourced projects from the US and Europe,” says Stephen Knightly, chair of the NZ Game Developers Association. “Our companies tend to have a flatter structure, so workers have the opportunity to directly influence their projects rather than being a cog in a big machine. Additionally, we have a very strong sense of community among our developers, with regular local meetups and two conferences annually.”
Recent developments in the New Zealand industry include DayZ creator Dean Hall opening his new AAA studio Rocketwerkz, and Mini Metro from Dinosaur Polo Club being nominated for four 2016 IGF awards including the Grand Prize.
“There has definitely been an uptick in interest in emigration from the US lately, and New Zealand is certainly a spectacular place to live and work, with plenty of room to breathe and a wide variety of lifestyle options. And New Zealand’s flourishing gaming industry means that there are fantastic career opportunities too,” says Greg Forsythe, national marketing manager for Immigration New Zealand. “We know that moving halfway around the world can be a daunting prospect, but we’re supporting the NZ game industry by making the process as straightforward as possible.”