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Is New Zealand About to be the Next Big Name in Gaming?

For a relatively obscure island with a humble population of under 5 million citizens, New Zealand has always managed to punch well above its weight.

Not only is it a place that has produced the first man to climb Mount Everest, but it also takes on opponents many times its size, and wins, in sports like cricket and rugby.

Now, there’s another arena in which it’s set to become a true world leader – the sphere of video game design and development. It’s already coming to life like never before with a reported 42% growth in the sector between 2019 and 2020 generating gross revenue of around $324 million and profits of over $120 million for the studios leading the boom.

blankGaming Controller” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by theglobalpanorama

These encouraging figures have already led to speculation that, if development continues at this rate, within just a few years, it’s inevitable that it will have become a billion-dollar business, no small feat for a country whose entire GDP was 212.48 USD billion.

At the moment, there are around 50 games studios in the country and rising. However, it’s the big twelve amongst them that are currently responsible for generating the great bulk of the revenue. Leading the way amongst these is the Wellington-based PikPok. Established 24 years ago, it’s not only the oldest of them all, but it’s also be largest employing over 180 staff.

Among its most successful games to date have been the likes of Flick Kick Football and the zombie-fest, Into The Dead. The aforementioned games and several other free-to-play options have been downloaded over 350 million times with in-game purchases and advertising generating the bulk of their revenue. PikPok has also been a training ground for many developers who have then gone on to set up their own studios.

Unsurprisingly, gaming is taking off in a colossal way. New Zealanders have always been pretty tech-savvy. One only has to look at the profusion of online casinos that are so popular there: most listed casinos offer generous welcome bonuses as well as additional incentives in order to attract players. For example, for a useful online directory that helps to organise the information in a way that’s accessible,  you can go to bonus.net.nz for more information. This resource enables users to find the perfect option for them, be they online gambling novices or seasoned slot veterans. What’s more, many of the listed items outline whether the sites require a deposit before prizes can be claimed, so you can start playing straight away.

blankFlick Kick Football” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by keng

There’s also no denying the influence that the Weta studio has had on the entertainment world in general. Ever since its involvement with the Lord of the Rings movies, it has really helped to put New Zealand on the map as a hub for the creative industries.

In addition, plenty of up-and-coming talent is coming through thanks to the many schools that now have game development on the curriculum. Add to this the pledge by the government to fully support the Centre for Digital Excellence initiative and the future looks very bright indeed.

So, while it might be some time until we see a Red Dead Redemption coming from the Land of the Long White Cloud, the vital first steps are definitely being taken right now.