Game developer

Largest CODE funding grant awarded to game developer and publisher Dunedin Runaway Play

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND, December 9, 2021 – Runaway Play, an award-winning games studio known for its worldwide success with nature-inspired mobile games, was announced today as the first recipient of CODE’s ‘Scale-Up’ funding, receiving 250,000 $ in matching funding towards an upcoming project in development.

“It’s really exciting to have this support from CODE – it has allowed us to do a few more hires here in Dunedin and is helping us on the path to more meaningful growth. We have big ambitions for Runaway. said Zoe Hobson, CEO of Runaway Play.

CODE Scale-Up funding aims to support the Ōtepoti Dunedin game development ecosystem by helping various creators and studios to develop digital game prototypes, found new studios or expand the ambitions of existing businesses.

CODE is funded by the Provincial Growth Fund, with an explicit mandate to strengthen the capacity of individuals and entities to drive innovation, income and jobs in the local game development sector.

“CODE’s funding is a good first step towards further supporting the growth of the games industry in Aotearoa,” says Hobson. “There’s a lot of pressure on game developers in Aotearoa right now – right next door in Australia there are up to 40% tax cuts for game development companies, which is putting the pressure on about us here in Aotearoa, where we’re at risk of losing staff to Australia and, in fact, losing our original studios and intellectual property to Australia as well. “

“When you look at other industries, like film, there is a lot of support that has really helped this industry grow. Digital technology companies have incredibly strong growth potential and include a range of benefits such as being export-based and being genuinely very “green” and sustainable. The creation of CODE in Dunedin was an important first step in supporting the industry, and we would be happy to have a program more widely accessible to other Aotearoa companies.

Runaway Play has grown significantly over the past six years, growing from a squad of eight to a squad of over thirty and growing its game portfolio from two to seven games, including a VR title. Every month, over half a million people play Runaway games around the world.

At the heart of this success, according to Hobson, is the Runaway Play team culture and a strong focus on a player base and a grassroots brand. “Our staff are extremely talented and our culture is to empower and support them to fulfill their roles as effectively as possible. We have a really good idea of ​​who we are as a company, what we do, who we do it for and why. Having that focus and motivation, and having everyone working together for it is extremely important to our success. “

“The support at scale received from CODE recognizes the growth potential of Runaway Play, as well as the values ​​with which we approach that growth, including emphasizing diversity, supporting our people and developing local talent. . “

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