Modelling and thus metamodelling have become increasingly important in Software Engineering through the use of Model Driven Engineering. In this paper we present a systematic literature review of instance generation techniques for metamodels, i.e. the process of automatically generating models from a given metamodel. We start by presenting a set of research questions that our review is intended to answer. We then identify the main topics that are related to metamodel instance generation techniques, and use these to initiate our literature search. This search resulted in the identification of 34 key papers in the area, and each of these is reviewed here and discussed in detail. The outcome is that we are able to identify a knowledge gap in this field, and we offer suggestions as to some potential directions for future research.