[:en]Escape Game creates mall opportunity[:zh]密室逃脱创造商城机会
[:en]A new interactive experiential game concept being franchised internationally is proving a drawcard for shopping centres and an ideal option for distressed retail space.
Escape Hunt, the brainchild of Bangkok based Briton, Paul Bart, is not yet a year old, but after a successful launch in Thailand, the concept is now being franchised internationally.
New venues have opened in Singapore and Jakarta this month, with franchisees already signed up in Manila, London, Sydney, Gold Coast, Amsterdam, Lisbon and elsewhere.
They plan to have 30 by the end of 2014 and 100 by the end of 2015. Bart is continuing a franchise drive, with a particular focus on Asia-Pacific given the strong anchor there already.
The concept is simple: a group of two to five players are ‘locked’ in a room with a short, staged and themed crime scenario. Their challenge is to find clues hidden in the surroundings and solve puzzles to unlock doors and identify the perpetrator before the clock runs out. It’s all a great “experience” followed by drinks and photo taking in detective costumes afterwards.
“The Escape Hunt Experience is based on the classic ‘escape the room’ games made popular years ago online, but now played live,” Paul explained to Inside Retail Asia. “You feel like you are actually inside the computer game while doing your best to escape. It’s exhilarating!”
The concept is perfectly suited to distressed retail space or shopping centres as this type of business does not depend on high footfall, because advance bookings are encouraged.
The original Bangkok Escape Hunt is located underground adjacent to a food court in the basement of an office tower and retail centre at Asok. It has rooms allowing as many as four games to run simultaneously along with a lounge for competitors to relax afterwards and drink tea in the style of a famous English detective. The whole space comprises 150 sqm so generates good margins as a result.
Since its second month of operation, Escape Hunt has been ranked Number 1 on Trip Advisor as the most popular of 248 tourist attractions in Bangkok and Bart says on many days the attraction is over booked, proving the concept does not need a high profile street frontage.
“Escape Hunt概念是基于近年网上流行的经典的’密室逃脱’游戏，但现在我们把它搬到现实中来。 ”保罗跟我们解释说。 “当你尽所有努力在逃离这个房间时，你会觉得你好像真的是在电脑游戏里面，这是令人振奋的！ ”