Video Games Help Lift NZ Economy and Depressed Teens


As reported over at the NZ Herald, video games are helping to lift the Auckland economy out of recession.

Fourteen of the city’s fledgling game development companies, which employ 160 fulltime workers, say they plan to create a further 135 fulltime high-tech creative jobs in Auckland by next April.

Further to that, collaborators at Auckland University have just won an international award for a new computer game called Sparx which helps depressed teenagers.

To read the article, click here

Japanese Gaming Company Donates Money to Christchurch Heritage Buildings


As reported at the National Business Review, Namco Bandai Partners in NZ, the Distributor for Namco Bandai Group a major Japanese Gaming firm, has donated $36,000 to the Christchurch Earthquake Heritage Building Fund.  To read the story, click here

NZ Chief Censor on Video Games – Parts 1 and 2

Dec recently had the chance to interview the Deputy Chief Censor, Nic McCully about video games and classification in general in NZ.  To read part one the interview, click here.

The second part of it’s interview with the Deputy Chief Censor, Nic McCully.  This part of the interview focuses on the future and some of the issues that arise as part of the classification process.  To read, click here.

Still Playing Games at 33 – Don’t Feel Guilty!


Still playing video games at 33?  Don’t feel guilty!

New research reveals the average age of a New Zealand gamer is 33

Auckland, New Zealand – 17 August, 2010 – A new research paper into New Zealand’s video and computer game sector has found that the average age of players is 33 years old and 88.5 per cent of all New Zealand households have a device for playing computer games.

The Interactive New Zealand 2010 (INZ10) report conducted on behalf of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) by Bond University is the most comprehensive study of its kind to be undertaken in New Zealand.

Dr Jeffrey Brand, Head of the Centre for New Media Research at Bond University says that while New Zealand is largely consistent with other countries within the Oceania region, it is the first country to record 100 per cent in the number of households with children under the age of 18 with a computer game playing device.

“The research indicates that every New Zealand household with children has a device for playing games, and this really tells us that video games are ubiquitous in 2010. It’s also fascinating to note that despite this figure, 78 per cent of gamers are in fact over the age of 18 and have been playing on average for 12 years,” says Dr Brand.


Interactive New Zealand 2010 (INZ10)


This research report was launched in New Zealand on Tuesday 17 August 2010.  It provides data on who is playing games in New Zealand.  It documents game play behaviours, the importance of games in teh family, the rold of onlince access in game purchasing and play, and how gamers compare with non-gamers on key demographics and attitudes towards games.

INZ10 Full Report

INZ10 Key Highlights Summary

Close Up – Video Game Stereotypes are being re-created


Tuesday 13 July 2010, the program Close Up on TVNZ featured a story about the revolution about to take place in the gaming industry.  To watch the story, click here

Interactive gaming industry body welcomes NZ members


Sydney, Australia July 1, 2010 – The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) has today expanded its borders with the addition of its New Zealand equivalent to the organisation.  Formerly recognised as the Interactive Software Association of New Zealand (ISANZ), the industry body will change its name and structure to partner with the iGEA and better reflect the evolving interactive gaming landscape.

The iGEA’s membership now includes a total of 22 companies: 14 Australian companies and an additional seven organisations based in New Zealand that publish, market and distribute interactive games and entertainment content.

A hugely popular form of entertainment, 2009 video and computer game sales cracked $2 billion in Australia and achieved a record $170 million in New Zealand according to independent market research group GfK Retail and Technology Australia.  Sales figures for the New Zealand market increased by 12 per cent – which is triple the growth figures for 2009 in the Australian market.

iGEA Chairman Edward Fong welcomes the New Zealand members and said, “There is great opportunity to collaborate and share our knowledge, insights and resources with our New Zealand team and we are very excited to have them on board. Over the last few months, the iGEA has spent a lot of time and energy building our website and we hope it becomes a central hub of resources not only for gamers but parents, businesses, governments and the wider Australian and New Zealand community.”

NZ interactive software association relaunches to cater to evolving industry


New Zealand, July 1, 2010 – The Interactive Software Association of New Zealand (ISANZ) has today announced a change in its name and structure to better represent the evolving interactive entertainment industry.  The trade body will relaunch as the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) and will be more focused in developing stronger ties with its members, businesses, government and the wider community.

ISANZ’s seven strong membership will join with iGEA’s existing members, which include 14 Australian companies, that publish, market and distribute interactive games and entertainment content.  The strategic partnership will form a solid organisation that is resourced to represent its members on both sides of the Tasman. iGEA in NZ will continue to have direct representation in NZ with a local CEO and a director on the iGEA Board. (more…)

NZ Game Aims to Help Teens Suffering Depression


As reported at, a 3D fantasy game developed at Auckland University could help to treat depressed teens.

The game – Sparx – lets players choose an avatar, or character, which can roam around a virtual world, interact with non-playing characters and complete challenges.  The challenges have been carefully based on cognitive behaviour therapies, a common technique used in face-to-face counselling.

To read more about this great initiative, click here

NZ’s Top Computer Geeks spread Gifts to at-risk kids

Apr reports that some of New Zealand’s top corporate computer geeks are using computer games to improve the skills of young people in poor communities.

The group, led by The Warehouse chief information officer Owen McCall, aims to install cast-off computers from businesses in 50 community centres around the country by the end of 2012.

To read more click here

NZ Achieves Record Video Games Sales Despite Tough Economic Climate



-Computer and Video Game Sales Crack $170 million in 2009-

New Zealand, January 26, 2010 – New Zealand’s interactive gaming and entertainment industry shows no signs of an economic slowdown achieving a record sales result of just over $170 million for the 2009 calendar year.

Despite the economic challenges of the last 12 months, sales data compiled by independent market research group GfK Retail and Technology Australia indicates computer and video gaming sales of $170 million – an increase of 12 per cent from 2008.  The data includes all sales from hardware, gaming peripherals and traditionally boxed software, yet excludes revenue generated from online retail sales, downloadable content, online games subscriptions and games delivered to mobile phones.

‘Family Games’ are a key factor to the industry’s growth proving to be the number one selling genre in 2009.  27% of all software sales were from the ‘Family Games’ genre – up 34% from 2008.

Growth figures for the New Zealand market were three times larger than Australia’s gaming market which recorded a 4 per cent growth.

According to Mark Goodacre, President of ISANZ, the record sales results reveal the strength of New Zealand’s interactive gaming market, particularly compared to overseas markets that have seen smaller or negative growth figures due to last year’s turbulent economic climate.

“New Zealand’s interactive gaming industry continues to buck global trends and achieve steady growth in sales despite last year’s tough economic climate.  Video games have joined mainstream entertainment as a popular pastime that involves the entire family,” said Mr Goodacre.

Hardware sales increased by 13.51% per cent from last year and software sales remain steady with 1.132 million units sold in 2009 compared to 1.075 million units sold in 2008.

Sales for gaming peripherals also experienced an increase of 37%, which is no surprise considering the sheer number of households in the country that now own gaming consoles.

“Despite the economic challenges of the last 12 months, interactive gaming has proven to offer families good value entertainment.  We expect that in 2010 the industry will continue to maintain its steady sales performance as playing video games becomes as popular as watching television or surfing the net,” said Mr Goodacre.

Ends –

About ISANZ:

Interactive Software Association of New Zealand is a trade body designed to represent and encourage the growth and development of the software industry throughout New Zealand. The Association is made up of eight members, Total Interactive, Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, Mad Man, Monarco Corp, Atari and Take Two.

Contact details:

For further information please contact:

Bob Glancy –; 021 612 920

Illegal downloading never ‘morally justifiable’ – NZFACT


The National Business Review published NZFACT’s Tony Eaton’s thoughts on the justification (or lack of) for illegally downloading movies.

Tony reminds readers that “every illegal download of a movie deprives a filmmaker of payment for their work. And that has flow on effects to what is literally a cast of thousands involved in that project.”

The NBR article is availble here.

Ratings urged for NZ cell games

Nov reports that offensive and risque mobile phone games and applications could soon be censored in New Zealand.

The full story by Claire McEntee can been viewed here.

OFLC NZ Classification Decision Newsletter


The Office of Film and Literature Classification (NZ) produces newsletters which contain targeted information for those involved in, or interested in, the classification of video games and of material held in libraries. (more…)

GTA IV: NZ Chief Censor talks to Gameplanet


Most fans of the Grand Theft Auto franchise reacted with shock when it was announced that New Zealand would receive the same edited version of the game that Australia will be getting.

Read the Full Story at

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