Gameloft's Auckland studio to be shut down

  • 29/01/2016
Gameloft's chief financial officer Alexandre de Rochefort has been busy recently, playing a role in the closure of eight studios in the last 12 months (Reuters file)
Gameloft's chief financial officer Alexandre de Rochefort has been busy recently, playing a role in the closure of eight studios in the last 12 months (Reuters file)

Video-game company Gameloft is about to shut down its Auckland studio just a week after opening a new office in Nigeria, according to game developer magazine Gamasutra.

The studio's closure would result in the loss of around 160 jobs -- and means New Zealand loses its largest game developing studio.

The Auckland office wouldn't be the first of Gameloft's offices to be shut down, either -- in 2015 the French company shut seven of its studios, with their Seattle, Tokyo and New York locations all closing their doors.

Gameloft, which has its head office in Paris, is still to confirm its New Zealand office will shut, but New Zealand Game Developers Association chairman Stephen Knightly says a number of local studios are already looking to hire the affected employees.

"The studio was a valuable training ground and gave many New Zealanders the skills and experience to launch their careers and own studios," said Mr Knightly.

"To me it seems that the decision was driven by the offshore head office rather than being a reflection on the quality of the New Zealand team or their work."

Despite the news, Mr Knightly says the local game development industry is in good health.

"The majority of studios are New Zealand-owned and produce their own original games, so have more control over their futures and retain more of the profits locally.

"However, there is still a strong case for international studios to set up here, mirroring New Zealand's success in attracting major film productions."

Gameloft -- the company behind games such as My Little Pony, Zoo Rescue and Silent Ops -- released its first game in 2011, focusing primarily on mobile games.

3 News / NZN