Kiwi Game Starter is the business start-up competition for New Zealand-based game development teams first launched in 2014. Its purpose is to support the commercial success of high-growth, internationally-minded game development startups.

Screen capture from the 2020 KGS winner, Whistling Wizard
2020 KGS Winner Whistling Wizard

The competition has grown every year. Initially supporting a single winner with a prize of $10,000 and informal mentoring, the competition also introduced a runner up prize of $5,000 from 2015. In 2020 the grand prize award increased to $25,000, and the runner up prize to $10,000. In its seven years of operation it has received over 100 entries and distributed $140,000.

2020 KGS Winner Mecha Weka

The competition has attracted sponsorship from industry leaders including successful Kiwi game developers Dean Hall (creator of multi-million selling hit game DayZ) and Patrick Corrieri (creator of the Poly Bridge franchise), professional service firms such as Hudson Gavin Martin legal, BW Miller Dean accountants and Renegade PR, software from Autodesk and Unity, and support from organisations including Callaghan Innovation, NZ Film Commission and the NZGDA itself.

2019 KGS Winner Balancing Monkey

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship packages can be tailored to fit, and can include branding, in-game credits, named prizes, award presentation, and more. Please contact the sponsorship director at info@nzgda.com for more details.