NZ games studio teams up with US company

By Ben Chapman-Smith

A screen shot from Grinding Gear Games' popular online role playing hit Path of Exile. Photo / Supplied
A screen shot from Grinding Gear Games' popular online role playing hit Path of Exile. Photo / Supplied

Auckland game development studio Grinding Gear Games has partnered up with a major player in the world of gaming hardware and software.

US company Razer is considered an industry leader in producing specialist gaming gear such as mice, headphones, keyboards and gamepads.

Grinding Gear's hit game Path of Exile, a PC-based online role playing game (RPG), has more than three million registered users.

The collaboration means each company effectively endorses eachother's products to their millions of respective fans.

"We have a game we want more people to play and they have gear they want more people to use," said Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear's founder and lead developer.

Based in west Auckland, Grinding Gear has grown its team of developers from 20 to 33 since February.

Path of Exile is currently in open beta but is launching in October.

The partnership gives the studio access to Razer's latest technology, allowing Grinding Gear to develop Path of Exile in a way that enhances the experience for players when using Razer's gear.

"They make it available to use so we pick the pieces out that we want to use," Wilson said.

Razer will also provide development and marketing support.

As part of the deal, Razer's fans will be granted exclusive access to certain features when playing Path of Exile. Other partnership benefits will be released in the coming months.

Wilson said he was "thrilled" to be working with one of the biggest names in gaming hardware and software.

"It's hopefully a good direction for our company because we haven't traditionally done a lot of business development like this."

Razer said the partnership underscored the company's dedication to independent game development.

"At Razer we are really excited at the opportunity to work directly with game developers like Grinding Gear Games," said co-founder and chief executive Min-Liang Tan.

"Path of Exile is extremely addictive and brings a new side to hack and slay games not seen before."

Most of Razer's products are for PC-based gaming and are named after predatory or venomous animals such as snakes, insects and spiders.

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