Computerworld

Government puts interactive media industry under the spotlight

Study to be led by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association

The Government has launched a study in New Zealand’s interactive media industry (game development and consumer augmented and virtual reality apps) to provide input into government policy and industry initiatives, and provide a foundation for future collaborations between the industry and government.”

Plans for the study, to be led by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech), were announced by Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran at TechWeek.

It will be funded jointly by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the results will be published later this year.

Curran said the research would explore future opportunities for the sector, provide an up-to-date snapshot of the industry and analyse how it could contribute to the country’s economic, educational and social prosperity.

However, she said that because interactive media could have applications across a range of sectors no single arm of government had responsibility for product development.

“This research will be a valuable resource to inform the direction of government policy and industry initiatives, and provide a useful foundation for future collaborations between the industry and government.”

She said it would also help inform her goal of growing New Zealand’s creative tech sector and the wider digital economy.

“[This research] will unlock important information on New Zealand and overseas markets, and identify industry opportunities and challenges that can apply more widely.”

Curran said the game development sector in particular was growing rapidly. “Gaming is one of the most commercially viable examples of creative tech and is New Zealand’s fastest-growing creative industry earning over $100 million annually,” she said.

“Last year there were 500 professional game developers working in New Zealand studios. Overall, our creative industries are worth nearly $3.848 billion to GDP and the technology sector’s contribution to GDP is more than $16.2 billion. But these figures are outdated and there’s an urgent need for better measurement.”