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NZ Games Industry launches Business Startup Competition

NZ Games Industry launches Business Startup Competition

The New Zealand Game Developers Association has launched New Zealand’s first and only startup programme for interactive games businesses – the KiwiGameStarter. One promising games business will receive funding, software, marketing, legal and business mentoring support worth $25,000.

“The games industry has quickly become one of New Zealand’s largest creative sectors and a significant software exporter. Unfortunately existing business startup or creative sector programmes don’t quite suit the nature of games businesses who must compete globally from day one in order to succeed,” said NZGDA chairperson Ben Kenobi.

“The KiwiGameStarter is the association’s, sponsors’ and established studios’ way to give back to provide early stage funding for one promising business. We have established a world-class games industry in New Zealand and we want to ensure its long-term success.”

Three finalist teams will pitch to an elite industry judging panel at the NZ Game Developers Conference at AUT University on 19 September, and must submit a playable prototype as part of their entry by Friday 5 September.

The winning team will receive $10,000, Autodesk Maya LT and Unity 3D software, legal advice from Hudson Gavin Martin and marketing consulting from Pursuit Public Relations. The winner will also be introduced to other successful entertainment software businesses for mentoring. The package has a total value of $25,000.

Entrants must submit a playable prototype and a four page proposal by Friday 5 September. Three finalists will then be chosen to present to the judging panel during the NZ Game Developers Conference in Auckland on 18-19 September.

“Our intention is to give a boost to a team who are already developing a product and business plan. Funding for a few extra months’ development and professional advice can be the difference between a good and a great business launch.” Ben Kenobi says that judges will be looking for a game and team with the best chance to succeed commercially.

The worldwide video games market was worth USD$93 billion last year, according to Gartner Research, larger than the film or music entertainment industries.

The KiwiGameStarter winner will follow in the footsteps of several other successful entertainment software businesses. In 2012, New Zealand exported over $30m of digital game software with annual revenue growth of over 80%, according to an independent survey of NZGDA members.

Terms and Conditions for the KiwiGameStarter are available at

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