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Video game developers say they desperately need more support from Government

It could be a billion-dollar industry in the next five years, but local computer game developers say they desperately need more support from the Government.

A new report is highlighting the huge potential for the sector, but also the risk that its rapid growth could stagnate without extra help.

"There's a lot of people who get interested in it, they come in very small.

"It's very difficult for them to move up to the next scale which attracts more investment and allows them to grow internationally faster," NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller told 1 NEWS.

The industry here is currently worth $143 million, just six-years-ago it was making $20 million a year and developers say it could get even bigger.

"It's not crazy to visualise a billion-dollar industry for interactive in New Zealand in a few years that would be comparable to the post production segment of our industry," Steven Knightley of the Game Developers Association says.

Developers are calling for the Government to set up an innovation fund and an organisation similar to the Film Commission.

With the global market worth more than $250 billion the Government is now considering how it can help local players.

"The practical ideas in this report are exactly the kind of thing we need to be looking at.

And as the report says there are countries like Finland who have had deliberate policies to grow this industry and they've had spectacular results," Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

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It comes as a new report highlights the huge potential for the sector. Source: 1 NEWS


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