The Government is committed to growing the international profile of New Zealand’s game development sector, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran says.

Curran has just commissioned a new study that will map and explore future opportunities for New Zealand’s game development sector.

The research, led by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association, will also analyse how the gaming sector can contribute to the country’s economic, educational and social prosperity.

It will cover game development and consumer augmented and virtual reality apps.

“The interactive media industry is an exciting and emerging part of New Zealand’s creative tech sector. Our game development sector in particular is growing at a very encouraging pace,” Clare Curran said.

“Overall, our creative industries are worth nearly $3.848 billion to GDP and the technology sector’s contribution to GDP is more than $16.2 billion. But these figures are outdated and there’s an urgent need for better measurement.

“Gaming is one of the most commercially viable examples of creative tech and is New Zealand’s fastest-growing creative industry earning over $100 million annually,” she added.

“New Zealand is traditionally very good at creativity and innovation, and our technology sector is already the third biggest contributor to our economy. But I’d like to see how we can combine these strengths and build on them… I’d like to see how the Government can support taking our expertise to the world.”

Game development can have applications across a range of sectors - from economic development to job creation, education, healthcare, Māori development and culture – so there’s no one part of government responsible for developing policy, said Curran.

“This research will be a valuable resource to inform the direction of government policy and industry initiatives, and provide a useful foundation for future collaborations between the industry and government,” she said.

“I’m committed to growing the creative technology sector. While this research focuses on one part of it, it will unlock important information on New Zealand and overseas markets, and identify industry opportunities and challenges that can apply more widely.”

A report on the research findings is scheduled for release in late 2018.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is funding the research, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is providing additional support.