Call: How to start a National XR Association in Europe

Call: How to start a National XR Association in Europe

Today, the CGDA was on the European call of XR companies, talking about the creation of specialised XR Associations similar to national game associations, but focused on XR.

The idea of XR associations is to have a dialogue with local government and employment agencies and Universities to explain the language (what is the metaverse, what is XR) and possibly even the needs of this industry.

Croatia mentioned that in CGDA we have XR studios alongside game studios, and whether this is good or there should also be an XR association.

Camille Donegan from Ireland mentioned that in Southern Ireland, the game and immersive industries are seen and treated differently by the government. For example, there is a tax incentive for games called Section 481a (section 481a is an extension of the Film tax incentive in Ireland – Section 481, which has been massively important for the film industry in Ireland, but not for immersive industries).

Due to the Irish corporation tax incentives, Meta has an office in Ireland which has brought a lot of talent and workshop funding as well.

Eirmersive are investigating whether immersive companies can qualify under the criteria, however government are not calling it an incentive for ‘games and immersive’. However in Northern Ireland, for example with NI Screen, games and immersive are treated the same.

Tadej Slapnik from Slovenia mentioned they are collaborating a lot with Croatian studios due to the fact that Croatia has a more varied game industry as opposed to the XR industry. In each country, it is important to have an umbrella network, so if in Croatia all XR is under CGDA, that is good for Croatia, it is just important that each country has a cluster .

Sonke Kirchhof from Germany mentioned that talking to GAME and being a member of the games association is important, but most XR companies come from the film world, and their topics are much different (mental health, XR training vs. lootboxes), so there are many disconnected topics, so it makes sense for large countries to make disparate associations even if the technology is the same for both XR and games. Film funds are funding XR projects which are not games for many years, so it is also different from the games fund, with completely different ecosystems (such as coproductions, which are rare in games but seen very often in films and film-related XR projects).