Dunedin’s burgeoning game development sector is about to put New Zealand on the map at the biggest games convention in the Southern Hemisphere.
Backed by CODE - New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence, a cohort of forty people from thirteen Dunedin-based studios will exhibit at Melbourne International Games Week (1-9 October), cementing the city’s rising status as the fastest emerging video game development destination in Australasia.
The only dedicated video game development programme of its kind in the region, CODE will be a cornerstone presence at the event, showcasing multiple studios in a bid to attract the eye of international industry publishers and influencers.
Tim Ponting, CODE Chief Executive, says, “Melbourne International Games Week is the first foray into pursuing our goals on a global stage, putting Dunedin studios and CODE programmes front and centre.
“But this is just the beginning. Through CODE, the city is on a trajectory to become a globally recognised educator, incubator and exporter of high-quality games.
“When you consider sixteen new Dunedin-based studios have started up in the last 3 years alone, we’re confident we’ve got a winning formula for building and nurturing a bespoke game development hub for New Zealand.”
CODE-backed studios such as Atawhai Interactive, Usual Suspects and Spookysoft will present some of New Zealand’s globally unique games to an international audience in the tens of thousands with interactive displays, lectures and conferences throughout the week.
Melbourne International Games Week includes marquee events Games for Change Asia Pacific, PAX Australia and Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), which is the largest games development conference in the Southern Hemisphere.
Underpinned by Kanoa-RDU, CODE initiatives including a world-first funding model, vocational training and ongoing professional development, have quickly netted results.
In 2021, CODE funding was responsible for creating 31% of the new jobs in the national game development industry, equating to around 80 positions.
With nearly 3.2 billion people globally expected to play games in 2022, spending a combined total of $196.8 billion (according to Newzoo 2022 figures), it’s becoming an increasingly important export market for New Zealand, which currently exports 97% of games produced in the country.
Melbourne International Games Week 2022 will not only provide a platform for Dunedin studios to show their wares, but also act as a drawcard for prospective students, game developers and existing studios elsewhere in the world to look into the opportunities CODE and Dunedin offers.