Just as is the case all over the world, the online gaming industry in New Zealand has never been more exciting and vibrant. Along with the standard traditional fruit machine games and poker games, there are new and exciting innovations constantly being introduced – and some of these are setting the NZ gaming industry on fire.
The Growth of Online Gaming
In the past few years, the online gaming industry has blown up. Just a couple of years ago, in 2021, the global market was valued at $195.65 billion – and it is predicted that it could reach as much as $321 billion by 2026.
The New Zealand market is growing just as fast – and every year, millions of dollars are spent by New Zealanders at their favorite online gambling sites.
But what is so special about this market that it is growing so incredibly all over the world and, even more so, in New Zealand? Well, partly because of how varied the online gaming world is becoming.
The world is continually becoming more digital, in all areas – and this has led to the increase of eSports players and cryptocurrency users. And, it goes without saying that the world of online gaming has tapped into these trends – and this is very much the case in New Zealand.
These days, online gaming in NZ isn’t just about playing casinos and gambling online – it now covers many different areas, which attracts all different types of people, all enjoying newer more efficient and immersive ways to entertain themselves online.
So, let’s look at the biggest trends in the world of online gaming in New Zealand…
1: The World Of Online Casinos
This may not be a particularly new trend, but it is still probably the biggest trend of all in the world of online gaming in New Zealand. Kiwis love online casinos – and have done for more than ten years now. In fact, around 80% of adult New Zealanders have played at online casinos in some way, shape or form – not bad considering online gambling isn’t completely legalized within the country!
However, that law means nothing to our players… as long as the online casinos in question are based outside of New Zealand, all is well. It’s only casinos based in NZ that are prohibited. So, you can still enjoy the world of online casinos as much as you like, as long as you play at an offshore site.
2: The Exciting World Of Crypto Gaming
According to a poll of 1,000 New Zealanders last year, over 18% of adults had invested in cryptocurrencies of some sort – many of these investors using the Metaverse both for entertainment and financial reasons.
Since blockchain technology was first created the concept of decentralized casino games and video games has become a very popular trend – with some very high-profile games being launched such as The Sandbox, Splinterlands and Axie Infinity – with The Sandbox attracting more than 200,000 active players each month.
However, it’s still in its early stages. As of 2023, NZ only ranked 24th out of 26 countries for cryptocurrency adoption – so there’s plenty of room for growth. However, the number of users is growing – and it looks highly likely that blockchain technology will be used even more in the near future.
As of 2022, the worldwide value of the crypto gaming market stood at $4.6 billion and experts expect it to increase at a CAGR rate of 70.3%. As such, it could well be that crypto gaming could become the biggest sector in the New Zealand gaming industry within the next few years.
3: The Rise Of Esports
However, whilst crypto is still on the rise, eSports is way ahead of the games in New Zealand. Although there is a very thriving casual eSports scene, the professional scene is gaining traction – and New Zealand pros have earned over $2 million so far, with the biggest titles being Fortnite, Rocket League and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The most successful of all New Zealand professionals is Cameron Ingram, who finished fourth at the RLCS and won just under $126,000. However, apart from him, there have been another 341 players that have taken part in 1053 eSports tournaments. Fortnite is the highest-paying game in NZ so far – contributing 31% to the total amount of winnings.
That being said, Tony Grose, the owner of eSports Gaming Whangarei believes that this is barely scratching the surface of what it could be worth in future.
Compared to countries in Europe, New Zealand is lagging behind in the development of the eSports industry – but this isn’t due to lack of interest – and it means it could enjoy significant growth in the near future.
More New Zealanders than ever are looking to get involved in esports in one way or another now – and even if the country were to increase its market share by just 0.1%, it is said that exports will reach over $250 million each year.
The world of eSports will keep on growing – and the leagues will be promoted even more, television networks will start getting more involved – and it will reach a whole new level!