Five New Zealand video game makers have been lauded in major international Best of 2013 lists.
Path of Exile by Grinding Gear Games has won GameSpot’s PC Game of the Year Award, Turbo Racing League by PikPok was the runner-up for Apple’s Best of 2013 Game of the Year, and indie developer Michael Brough was named one of the Top 10 Game Developers of 2013 by Gamasutra. The Blockheads by Majic Jungle and Bloons Tower Defence 5 by NinjaKiwi also feature in Apple’s Best of 2013.
“Many New Zealand made games have won rave reviews and awards during the year, but to be singled out in retrospectives by the world’s leading gaming press and publishers is outstanding. It shows that the quality of New Zealand developers’ games count among the best in the world,” says NZ Game Developers Association Chairperson Stephen Knightly.
In the last financial year, revenue from New Zealand-made video games grew 86% with the vast majority being exports. “It’s great to see commercial success being matched with critical recognition,” says Knightly.
Path of Exile is an online Action RPG developed by Grinding Gear Games. After seven years of development, it was launched on October 23 on both www.pathofexile.com and Valve’s Steam platform. With over 4.2 million registered users, it’s one of the most popular online Role Playing Games in the world today.
Turbo Racing League puts players in the driver’s seat (or rather, driver’s shell) in the world of Turbo, a family-friendly 3D movie released by Dreamworks Animation earlier this year. Over 30 million players have downloaded the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play. It is Wellington-based Pikpok’s fifth collaboration with Dreamworks. As well as the AppStore Best of 2013 it was also a finalist for Google Play’s Best Game Based on a Movie.
Michael Bough is an independent developer of experimental and art games. Born and educated in Auckland he currently lives in the UK. Earlier this year he was a finalist in the Independent Games Festivals’ Innovation Award.
Gamasutra, the leading professional game developer publication, named Michael as one of the Top 10 Developers of 2013. They said that “while the lone developer making games is a common scenario, but it’s the unmatched level of complexity, purity and clarity in Brough’s games that put him in a category of his own. This year’s 868-HACK only confirmed Brough’s high level of talent and thoughtfulness, which he’s been exhibiting over the past years.”
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