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In Austria, the gaming industry made 51.1 million in 2019 alone

Innsbruck wants to become an e-sports hub in Austria

Innsbruck wants to become an e-sports hub in Austria

After acknowledging the importance of the industry, the local council announced a roundtable with developers, academics and businesses

This Wednesday, local authorities in Innsbruck, Austria, announced their plans to make the city an e-sports hub. According to a statement by the city, officials want to stimulate the development of offline events, as well as development studios. This would help the whole region develop in the entertainment industry of the future.

Digital games are now an investment magnet on a global scale, as well as the biggest entertainment industry, with sales higher than cinema or music. In Austria, the industry made 51.1 million euros in 2019 alone.

City Councillor Dejan Lukovic was quoted in a press release explaining that more than 5 million people in Austria regularly play digital games and that the local council recognises the social relevance of the issue. Furthermore, he stated that Innsbruck should strive to participate in the industries of the future.  

Connections with the local industry

The local council now wants to recognise the industry in a more official capacity, as a potential economic, educational and tourism driver. Thus, they want to start building a working relationship and a system of partners. They have announced their intentions to organise a roundtable with developers, event organisers and representatives of the academic sector in Tyrol in the first half of 2022.

According to Christine Oppitz-Plörer, City Councillor for Economic Affairs, the industry is incredibly dynamic and has always been on the radar of traditional businesses in the area; however, with the roundtables, decision-makers have a chance to gain experience and put development processes in motion.

The Austrian Public National Broadcaster, the ORF, reports that Councillor Oppitz-Plörer wants to set a clear line between e-sports, digital industry and digital gambling. He explained that e-sports are an antithesis of gambling and they have a chance to pull the industry out of what he calls ‘a dirty corner’.

At the same time, he stressed that development would take place with or without the involvement of the city council and now, Innsbruck has an opportunity to participate in the industry. Notably, the Council’s position echoes a recent project, championed by the German city of Dortmund, which created its own city e-sports championship.

ÖVP club chairman, Christoph Appler, was quoted in a statement by the city, saying: “Winter sports are an indispensable part of Tyrol, both in the tourism sector and in top-class sports. With this new initiative by the city of Innsbruck, we are laying the foundations for Tyrol to become a globally recognized location in the e-sports sector. This gives Tyrol and Innsbruck an additional magnet effect for young tourists, for software start-ups and for the entire gaming community.”

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