2022 Kiwi Game Starter Finalists Announced
22 June 2022

Three finalists spots go to Out of Sight, Undeadly, and Warrior Chef

(Wellington, New Zealand – Wednesday 22 June, 2022) – on Monday the judges of the Kiwi Game Starter, the NZ Game Developers Associations’ startup competition for talented game developers, announced the four finalists for 2022: Out of Sight (Mainframe Games), Undeadly (Irreflex Studios), and Warrior Chef (Rare Parrot Games). The finalists were chosen from 21 total entries and judged based upon overall appeal, originality, aesthetics, production and financial planning, and commercial viability. These four games will now be tested by a panel of finalist judges, and the winner will be announced during the New Zealand Game Developer Conference (NZGDC) 2022.

Started in 2014, the Kiwi Game Starter is an initiative organised by the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) to identify and support the best of upcoming New Zealand game development talent. The competition aims to improve the commercial outcomes for NZ developers working towards completing their games.

The first prize package includes $25,000, mentorship, and ongoing development and strategy support, generously sponsored by the University of Canterbury. This year a $10,000 second place award has also been sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“In partnership with our community of judges and incredible programme sponsors, the NZGDA is proud to support the next generation of game developers through the Kiwi Game Starter competition,” said Chelsea Rapp, NZGDA Chairperson. “Early-stage funding is critical to building a thriving game development ecosystem, and this year’s competition has been proof of the incredible creative talent that we have in Aotearoa.”

“This year we had an incredible consistency of excellence in the entrants,” said Lucas Haley, Senior Lecturer in Game Development at Massey University. “It’s indicative of how the emerging talent in Aotearoa is truly leveling up.”

The New Zealand Game Developers Association is a not-for-profit incorporated society formed in 2001 to champion, support and grow video game development in New Zealand. In addition to the Kiwi Game Starter competition, the organisation also runs an annual game developers conference and mentorship programme. Its membership includes over 3000 individual members and 50+ game studios, and its leadership team works with government, tertiary education providers, trade organisations, and cross-industry partners to advocate for the interactive media industry.


Lucas Haley
KGS Program Director

Chelsea Rapp
Chairperson, NZGDA