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Game On For New Zealand Interactive Games Industry


Game On For New Zealand Interactive Games Industry

Interactive games are where two key sectors of the New Zealand economy, Information and Communications Technology and the creative industries, meet, says Industry New Zealand Chief Executive Neil Mackay.

Commenting on an Industry New Zealand report, released today, that scopes the interactive games industry in New Zealand, Mr Mackay said New Zealand companies, using the innate creativity of kiwis, can create highly sought after games and content for one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In 2000 – 01, when the global IT sector was in a slump, the interactive games industry grew 43 percent.

“The success of The Lord of the Rings demonstrates not only a creative edge in New Zealand filmmaking, but also in specialised knowledge and excellence around digital effects and animation, all key components of the interactive games industry.”

Game On: NZ – Growing the interactive games industry in New Zealand sets out the current capability of the interactive games industry in New Zealand. It was released at a seminar organised by the New Zealand Game Developers Association, (e)-vision and Industry New Zealand on how to build up the capability of the industry.

At the seminar will Electronic Arts, one of the largest interactive games publishers in the world, who recently released The Two Towers interactive game based on the second book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A local representative of the EA team, Charlie Cooper, will be the keynote speaker. EA bought the rights to develop the game for $10m last year.

Other speakers at the forum include Industry New Zealand sector specialist, Clare O'Leary, and local game developer from Sidhe Interactive and President of the NZ Games Developers Association, Mario Wynands.

“Creativity and innovation are at the core of interactive games,” Mr Mackay said. “They are also at the center of the Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework (GIF) because creativity and innovation are propellants of economic growth. “The GIF identifies three key sectors of the New Zealand economy – the creative industries, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and biotechnology - for their ability to improve productivity throughout the economy, as well as grow in their own right.”

Industry New Zealand has worked closely with emerging interactive games companies and researchers to identify a strategic direction for the industry. It will continue to work in partnership with the industry to help companies grow.

The report is up on the Industry New Zealand website – www.industrynz.govt.nz

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