The New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) has collaborated with Wellington in a multi-year partnership to increase investment and grow the talent pool in the creative digital content sector.
The NZGDA will expand the remit of its annual conference to incorporate the film, screen and interactive media sectors alongside its traditional gaming content.
A Collaborative Creative Content Sector
Conference content will be expanded to include feature panels, academic meetings, industry workshops, showcase exhibitions as well as networking events for the gaming, film, television and interactive technology sectors.
NZGDA Chairperson Chelsea Rapp says New Zealand’s interactive media and video games studios earned $276 million in the 2021 financial year, 97% of which came from weightless, digital exports.
“By bringing together all of the participants of the screen sector under one roof, we have an opportunity to improve cross-industry collaborations, co-productions and direct investment in our industries,” she said.
Nicci Boucher, Manager of Screen Wellington, says: “Joining forces with NZGDA means we can learn from each other in terms of building cross sector and convergent relationships with international partners and investors. Ultimately, we want to be taking Aotearoa stories to the world in many content formats.”
Bringing Our Work To The Public
“The new public focus also creates an opportunity for everyday New Zealanders to learn about the value of the screen sector, its potential and the pathways for careers in this field” says Rapp.
Community-focused events to engage and educate the public will be held across Wellington in partnership with the Wellington UNESCO City of Film programme.
The event is planned to evolve over the next three years to increase international attendance and content, with Wellington’s new convention and exhibition centre, Tākina, to be its eventual home.
Tākina: to invoke, to summon, to connect, to bring forth
Tākina commercial development general manager David Perks says the partnership will lead to more New Zealand stories being told to global audiences in many content formats.
“The partnership with the NZGDA is tailor-made for Tākina which, when it opens in mid-2023, will be a world-class conference centre with state-of-the-art exhibition facilities open to the public,” he said.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says,” the evolving convergence of media represents one of the most exciting developments of the 21st Century. The NZGDA and Wellington Screen Sector partnership recognises the need for talent and resources to work together.
“I congratulate the NZGDA and our screen sector for their foresight in developing this initiative and the strength it brings to our Creative Capital vision.
“There is no doubt we need to actively engage in building a strong collaboration and co-operation platform from which to secure our leadership in the Experience Economy. This partnership does that.”
The partnership is already supporting the expansion of content at this year’s event, planned for August 2022, which will feature panels, academic meetings, industry workshops, showcase exhibitions, and networking events for the gaming, film, television, and interactive technology sectors.
Tourism New Zealand general manager domestic & business events Bjoern Spreitzer says the partnership will greatly benefit New Zealand’s creative digital content sector.
“It shows the potential of business events to act as catalysts for positive social change, from stimulating employment to encouraging economic development,” he said.