Aspiring kiwi video game makers could get a leg up on the competition with a new startup programme aimed at supporting local gaming developers.

The New Zealand Game Developers Association launched a mentoring programme this week, dubbing it the KiwiGameStarter, and is inviting budding game developers to enter the competition.

One promising games business will receive funding, software, marketing, legal and business mentoring support worth $25,000.

NZGDA chairman Ben Kenobi said the games industry has quickly become one of New Zealand's largest creative sectors.


"Unfortunately existing business startup or creative sector programmes don't quite suit the nature of games businesses who must compete globally from day one in order to succeed," Kenobi said.

The worldwide video games market was worth US $93 billion last year, more than the film and music entertainment industries, according to Gartner Research.

"The KiwiGameStarter is the association's, sponsors' and established studios' way to give back to provide early stage funding for one promising business. We have established a world-class games industry in New Zealand and we want to ensure its long-term success," Kenobi said.

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KiwiGameStarter entrants must submit a playable prototype and a proposal by 5 September. Three finalists will then be chosen to present to the judging panel during the NZ Game Developers Conference in Auckland in mid-September.

Kenobi said the judges are looking for a game and team with the best chance to succeed commercially.

More information about the KiwiGameStarter competition is available here.