The global XR scene in 2022 is often described as “recovering from the hype/boom” of 2021. A lot of resources were invested in the almighty Metaverse but when the novelty faded, so did the enthusiasm. This of course does not mean doom to the XR technology but rather the emergence of a new mindset – quality over quantity. “The noise around the Metaverse may have calmed since its peak in ’21, but this means more serious founders with better validated ideas (FOV Ventures: Annual Review).”
For the Estonian Virtual and Augmented Reality Association (EEVR), 2022 was a year of new starts and community building. In addition to welcoming 4 new members, our team also grew by a Community manager. EEVR organized 4 Meetups throughout the year (read more about the Meetups). Meetups enable members to network and discuss common and uncommon topics in an informal environment. It can’t be stressed enough how important collaboration and knowledge sharing is in a small community like Estonia. That is also the main reason why EEVR as an organization strives every year to participate in relevant partner events. In 2022, we took part in 4 of them: University of Tartu Computer Graphics Projects EXPO 2022, Delta Career Day,AWE Nite: Eyes on Estonia and Latitude 59. And although it is really nice to meet someone physically these days, one can’t underestimate the role of digital channels for effective community building. For smoother communication, we launched the Estonian XR Discord channel and EEVR Monthly Newsletter in 2022. The EEVR website was updated with a brand new Jobs page which enables job seekers to browse all Estonian XR vacancies on one page. Another informative and interesting addition to the EEVR’s website was the annual Estonian XR sector report.
But what is EEVR without its members? Here is a small list of the impressive highlights some of our members managed to pull off in 2022:
As can be seen from this list, fundraising and new product launches stood out the most. Both Alpha AR and Ready Player Me (Wolf 3D) raised money for further developments in building the Metaverse. By now Ready Player Me has partnered with over 5000 companies to integrate with its avatar platform, and we are hoping for the same kind of success for the newly rebranded Alpha 3D, a 2D to 3D product generator tool directed at e-commerce sites.
Avar ONE launched their ultra realistic 3D virtual showroom experience and Mobi Lab revealed Reality Maker to enable anyone to create new Augmented Reality experiences code-free. Besides Ready Player Me, the biggest winner in 2022 was definitely CM Games with their hit survival game “Into the Radius” which after some significant optimizations was launched on Quest 2 in September. With the resulting 2.5X increase in sales compared to the previous year,”Into the Radius“ exceeded all expectations and has certainly inspired CM and hopefully others to pursue more VR titles in the future.
In conclusion, we hope that all these new beginnings of 2022, including the ones not mentioned here, will keep evolving into prosperous XR products and services in 2023. EEVR will continue to support the Estonian XR ecosystem by strengthening ties within the community, driving awareness of XR technologies in Estonian society, and inspiring a new generation of XR professionals.