The New Zealand games industry is getting a $10 million commitment from the government as seed capital for a new Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) to be established in Dunedin.
The investment will come from the Provincial Growth Fund, with aims to develop Dunedin into a hub for the industry and create hundreds of new jobs.
"The CODE will invest in career pathways to the gaming industry, help develop digital skills, grow digital capability, support innovation through contestable funds, and attract digital businesses to Dunedin," said regional economic development minister Shane Jones.
CODE will be established over the next six months and will be overseen by Enterprise Dunedin.
"Dunedin has a long history of innovation and is already home to increasing numbers of successful, internationally recognised tech businesses -- including video game development studios RocketWerkz and Runaway," said Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins.
"We have a thriving and collaborative start-up community supported by first-class tertiary education providers. The industry's need for storytellers, artists and designers, taps into our city's growing creative economy."
In 2018 the New Zealand games industry generated $143 million in earnings, while revenue has increased by 39% year on year for the last six years – meaning 2019 will see the industry break the $200 million mark.
NZ Game Developers Association chairwoman Cassandra Gray noted that unlike the film industry, game development in the country has seen little government support.
"We know it has the potential to grow into ''at least'' a billion-dollar industry and with backing, could grow beyond that," said Gray.