Game Industry News: Booming New Zealand Games Industry Experiencing Skills Shortage
New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) and several member companies will be aggressively recruiting senior-level talent to fill a variety of openings at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, February 28-March 3. Part of an overall thriving tech industry in New Zealand, the game sector saw 13 percent growth in 2016 alone, leading to new positions that many studios have been unable to fill.
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“Our studios aren’t able to grow as quickly as they would like to because we’re lacking enough skilled people to fill all of the open jobs domestically,” says James Everett, NZGDA Chairperson. “The industry is booming and will earn over NZD$100m this year. Even though there are only a few million New Zealanders, we have 600 professional developers working here, and the industry is very active, with monthly meetups, industry conferences and festivals.”
Innovation and creation of original IP is a hallmark of the New Zealand development culture, and the impetus behind several industry investment projects. A network of startup incubators and co-working spaces has been created, including The Arcade and AR/VR Garage in Auckland and Level Up in Wellington. These provide shared workspaces, mentoring and industry events for growing game businesses. The New Zealand government also recently launched an Interactive Development Fund to develop early-stage game and VR projects.
“New Zealand studios emphasize creating their own IP over work for hire contracts,” continues Everett, “and 92 percent of our industry is export-driven. Teams are tight-knit and collaborative, which provides the opportunity for everyone to influence project direction. Combined with New Zealand’s exceptional quality of life, this makes it a great place to grow your career.”
Studios will be interviewing candidates at GDC and well-qualified hires may be able to take advantage of a streamlined visa process. For more information about open positions, please visit nzgda.com/make-games-in-nz or contact NZGDA directly to hear more about opportunities in New Zealand game development.