Derek Bradley A44 2

Technology Valley has the potential to be a video game production hotspot

Technology Valley Wellington has the potential of Montreal to become a video game development hub.

The six-month-a-year snowbound Canadian city has grown to 14,000 people involved in video gaming production over the past 10 years. Montreal-based companies won half the recent Gaming Awards. Google and Microsoft have recently opened satellite offices there on the strength of its video game production infrastructure.

But part of New Zealand’s challenge is there’s no dedicated funds for video game production, no ‘Games Commission’ mirroring the country’s Film Commission.

“Without a dedicated Games Commission we’ll never address the need to excel as an industry, and be able to compete globally and not just locally,” says A44 CEO Derek Bradley. A44 makes the cinematic-experience game ‘Ashen’, which has been bought by millions around the world.

A tax incentive of some kind would be more than useful says Derek. Similar incentives are huge in some overseas countries, which recognises that game development is a high risk business. Equally, management of that risk is an important component of running a successful game production company.

Another consideration needs to be that often game production skills aren’t readily available in New Zealand. A recognition of such critical expertise by Immigration authorities would be extremely useful he says.

“We have the potential to be much bigger, and contribute much more to the New Zealand economy with what is effectively weightless exports,” Derek says.

“We just have to put the right building blocks in place.

“If a place like Montreal can do it, there’s nothing to stop Wellington doing the same.”

(Caption: Technology Valley Wellington could be a world hub for video game production says A44 CEO Derek Bradley