NZ's interactive media industry could reach $1.01bn by 2024
New Zealand’s (NZ) interactive media industry could reach $1.01 billion in the 2024 financial year if it can maintain its current high growth rates, according to a new report.
The report — prepared by the NZ Game Developers Association — showed that interactive entertainment is NZ’s fastest growing creative industry, achieving 39% compound annual growth over the past six years to reach $143 million.
However, to maintain this growth rate and meet their billion-dollar projection, the country needs a dedicated sector and government-supported industry development program to grow talent, employment and exports, the association said in its report, adding that, if the industry were to mature instead, it may only reach $235 million in the 2024 financial year.
Fortunately, the NZ Government — which supported the report’s development — appears keen to back the industry.
“The opportunities in interactive media are significant and our government wants to see the sector continue to strengthen and grow,” said NZ’s Economic Development Minister, Phil Twyford.
“Whether it’s through game development, digital storytelling, augmented reality, education technology or health applications, interactive media is one of the fastest growing parts of the digital economy both here and around the world.
“It also fits the profile of the kind of industries we need to foster to achieve a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy — it is low emission, export driven and scalable. It also offers a range of social and cultural benefits in fields like health and education.”
The report is set to help shape industry transformation plans in the creative industries sector, according to the government.
“It’s exciting to see how the industry has developed in New Zealand already,” Twyford said.
“For example, a game created by Kumeu’s NinjaKiwi was the fourth most downloaded paid game on the Apple App store in 2018. And there are plenty of other success stories.”
One such success story is the sale of the majority stake in NZ’s largest games studio, Grinding Gear Games, to Tencent in China for over $100 million last year.
“This report is a useful summary of the potential this sector offers to our economy and the wellbeing of New Zealanders. We look forward to continuing discussions with the interactive media sector on how its future potential can best be realised,” Twyford said.
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