Game development studios gain grants

Tim Ponting. Photo: ODT
Tim Ponting. Photo: ODT
The New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) is ending the year on a high note by funding five new Dunedin game development studios in its latest round of grants.

Yesterday, CODE announced four recipients of Kickstart grants, worth a total of $144,280, and one — Cheese Berries — as the winner of the Startup grant, worth $150,000.

CODE is designed to help the expansion of New Zealand’s growing video game development industry.

Of the total Kickstart grants announced, One Sunny Night and Pacen Life Games received $40,000 each, while Four Fox Interactive and MC Gerard Lituanas received $25,000 and $39,280 respectively.

In a statement, CODE chief executive Tim Ponting said Dunedin’s video game development industry had gone from "strength to strength".

"It’s fantastic to end the year supporting studios producing innovative new products," he added.

Last week it was announced the Government had expanded the remit of CODE by investing $2.25million a year until 2027 to support the industry nationally.

The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is $407million, compared with $276million a year ago.

Enterprise Dunedin, the Dunedin City Council’s economic development agency, recently won an Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) award for its work in establishing and developing CODE.

"The significant progress made in a matter of years is testament to Dunedin’s cohesive and collaborative approach in shaping the CODE programme," Enterprise Dunedin manager John Christie said.

"Under CODE, the Otago video game sector has grown to account for more than 26% of the country’s studios.

"Dunedin is now one of the fastest-growing game development hubs in Australasia."

Kickstart Grant Recipients

Four Fox Interactive, $25,000 for development of Colour Crawler, a dungeon crawler and a match-three puzzle game.

One Sunny Night, $40,000 for development of Spacecrack, a game designed around safeguarding an underground reactor against a hectic onslaught of spaced-out aliens.

Pacen Life Games, $40,000 for development of Claiming Mars, a premium access, single player, third-person RPG-shooter game.

MC Gerard Lituanas, $39,280 for development of Shyfters, a 2D single player, hand-drawn, stylised fantasy action adventure Metroidvania game.

StartUp Grant Recipient

Cheese Berries, $150,000, for development of Picky Meowy, a strategic puzzle game with its own dynamic caused by a finicky cat, the ruler of the game.