Supporting smart jobs and exports isn't a game

The Green Party is calling on the Government to let the computer game development industry access incentives already available to the screen production industry, following new information from the New Zealand Game Developers Association that suggests growth in the gaming industry is constrained by a lack of Government support.

“Unless the Government provides an equal playing field with the movie industry, new gaming companies and high-value projects are likely to dry up,” Green Party information and communications technology spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

“The gaming sector has experienced rapid growth in high-paying jobs and low-carbon exports in the past but, without support, that growth looks like it is slowing right down.

“There is a wealth of Government support already available to the movie industry that game developers can’t access, even though the skills and business models can be very similar across the two industries.

“With a little bit of extra encouragement, the games sector could be on track for over $100 million dollars of high-value exports in a few years.

“The Government should allow game developers access to the screen industry’s Post-production, Digital and Visual Effects scheme that gives a 20 percent rebate on investment.

“The game development sector is an exciting part of the smart, green economy that we want to build,” said Mr Hughes.

The New Zealand Game Developers Association annual survey shows that jobs in the sector grew 30 percent last year and revenue has grown from $20 million in 2012 to almost $80 million today, but growth has slowed.

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