Video gaming in New Zealand

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In New Zealand, 67% of the population play video games, 48% of video game players are female and the average age of a video game player is 34. New Zealanders spend an average of 88 minutes a day playing video games[1]

In 2015, domestic video game development in New Zealand supported 568 full-time game developer jobs and collected $78.7 Million in revenue.[1] Overall, the video game industry in New Zealand is worth $424 million annually, inclusive of traditional retail and digital sales.[2] Despite the difference in population size, New Zealand game development is comparable to Australia's, in terms of revenue and employment.[3]

The industry body for video games in New Zealand is the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association.[2] The New Zealand Game Developers Association supports video game development.


New Zealand was an early adopter of the video game phenomenon, despite its remoteness.[4] Many Atari 2600 titles were assembled under licence by Monaco Distributors in Auckland.[5] New Zealand even developed its own Pong-style game console, the Sportronic, in the late 1970s, as a result of import licensing laws.[6][7]

Laser Hawk was developed for the Atari 8-bit in 1986 by Andrew Bradfield and Harvey Kong Tin.

Super Skidmarks, released for the Commodore Amiga in 1995, was developed by Auckland-based Acid Software.

Major companies and global recognition[edit]

Although a minor player in the global video gaming industry, New Zealand has had success with homegrown game developers such as Dinosaur Polo Club (developers of Mini Metro) and Sidhe Interactive.

The action RPG Path of Exile, developed by Grinding Gear Games and released in 2013, enjoyed international success.


The Game Masters exhibition was held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, from 15 December 2012 through to 28 April 2013.


In 2003, Manhunt became the first video game officially banned in New Zealand.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Digital New Zealand Report 2016" (PDF). Interactive Games & Entertainment Association. 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Scoop Business » NZ video games industry revenues race ahead to $424M in 2016". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  3. ^ 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Chapter 2". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  4. ^ Melanie Swalwell (2005). "Early Games Production in New Zealand". Victoria University of Wellington.
  5. ^ - New Zealand Atari 2600 Games
  6. ^ Russell Brown (2003-09-22). "Sportronic in Beige". Public Address.
  7. ^ Obscure Pixels - Sportronic
  8. ^ "New Zealand bans video game". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2011-05-23.

External links[edit]