How has recent trends affected gaming industries in New Zealand?


New Zealand, like most countries, has seen a significant uptick in the number of gamers in their population, and following that trend, a huge boost in casino gaming too. 

Perhaps one of the biggest and most impactful trends has been the number of mobile gamers and the high demand for all genres of mobile games – FPS, RPGs, puzzle games, and even dedicated mobile slot apps. There is truly something for everyone. 

It was reported that digital games were one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing exports and productive sectors – NZ entertainment and video game industry’s revenue nearly doubles in a year. 

So what are the trends that have contributed to the growth and success? 

Early Access

As more streamers and YouTubers started to show off games, creating playthroughs, guides, and showing off games, developers started to take notice. Developers and game studios started to offer keys and early access to streamers and game reviewers in return for reviews. 

After some time, Early Access became part of the game development process, meaning that studios could go ahead and fix bugs, implement new features, and remove things that didn’t work before they hit the public market – all while gaining great marketing through UGC. 


With so much competition in many of the gaming genres, people choose games based on their replay value, the previous games, and how much they get out of them. Games that aren’t recognised as offering great value will soon be shelved, given low reviews, and won’t have people lining up to buy them. 

This goes double and then some for all games that either offer in-game currencies, items or in the casino of casinos good bonuses and promotions. More specifically, just to casinos, you’ll need to discover the best payouts from online casinos in NZ, or your location. Value matters, and the trend of people looking to maximise both their free time and their money isn’t going anywhere. 


Mobile gaming has changed the landscape of gaming forever, and once those first gaming apps were released, it has snowballed into something even experts couldn’t predict. We now have mobile phones that are designed to run high-end games and offer a stunning experience. 

How has recent trends affected gaming industries in New Zealand?
How has recent trends affected gaming industries in New Zealand?

We can look back and see that it was games like Snake that started the idea that mobile phones could be used as a form of gaming entertainment. But it was a big pivot and investment from the casino industry that saw the uptake of mobile gaming increase tenfold. 

Any game that is released is now expected to be available either as a stand-alone mobile app, with an optimised website for the mobile experience or available on mobile devices. 

It is a trend that has increased the number of casual gamers and has seen the overall number of people (who may not even consider themselves gamers) who game. 

Geek Chic

Perhaps one of the biggest changes in society is that where gamers were thought of as people who didn’t have any friends or weren’t cool were gamers.

Young professional esports players playing games in internet cafe
How has recent trends affected gaming industries in New Zealand?

Over time though, gaming made it out of the basement and arcades into the hands of everyone. Huge games like Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, World of Warcraft and even Poker started to become a part of the fabric of society. 

Gaming became something that almost everyone did and still does. 


Gaming is more social than it has ever been – you can play with people you know and people you don’t and even join online forums filled with people who enjoy the same game. Two-player games, swiftly followed by four-person capability, were the stay of gaming sessions with friends. 

Over time the internet played a larger part, and friends can join the same lobby, form teams, and fight foes together-apart. 

Hayden Tresch
Gaming streamer in New Zealand: Hayden Tresch from the Kapiti Coas

Games like bingo and poker are some of the best examples of social games that held on to what made them special as they made the transition from land-based casinos and bingo halls to online and now even mobile. 

Internet & Tech Access

It is estimated that 7.33 billion people own a smartphone, which adds up to about 90% of the population having and using a mobile phone. In January 2023, it was stated that there are 5.16 billion people with internet access, which is about 64% of the population. 

Those two figures are the driving force behind the significant growth of the mobile gaming industry – which has shown the strongest growth in the entertainment sector for the last few years. 

In fact, Mashable reported that 60% of the gaming market is now made up of mobile gamers, and by the end of 2023, it is expected that the total mobile gaming segment will be around $315.90bn (USD). For New Zealand, a growth of 6.93% is expected per year, which will see a market volume of $763.80 million by the end of 2027 – a significant contributor to the total market value. 

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