In an industry known for pushing the envelope, escape rooms are undergoing the next exciting revolution: escape room virtual reality (VR). Thanks to unlimited themes, low overhead, and outrageous popularity, escape room VR is the next craze that promises to supercharge an already exploding industry. Savvy business owners will jump at the chance to realize large cash flows on minimal investment.
What is an Escape Room?
Inspired originally by escape-the-room style video games, the first escape room in the United States emerged in 2010. By 2015, there were over 2,800 in existence in the United States alone. Especially popular among twenty-somethings, these rooms charge individuals or teams by the hour to cooperatively solve clues to “escape.” Escape rooms use props and even sometimes secret passages to other rooms.
Thanks to new advancements in technology, virtual reality has brought escape rooms full circle by allowing players an even more immersive experience. Using VR headsets provided as part of the game fee, participants can live out experiences that seem almost real.
Escape rooms even have uses outside the typical gamer scenario. Corporations use them for team building activities, and they’ve even been put to educational use, helping students gain problem-solving skills.
What Makes Virtual Reality Different?
Imagine your heart racing and your pulse pounding as you work with your closest friends in a locked room. It looks like an old castle, with a throne, iron bars on the windows, and a treasure chest which you’re tasked to open. Puzzles and clues abound, leading you at last to a set of iron keys. But the timer is sounding, and you only have ten minutes left–can you beat the clock?
With escape rooms, this is exactly the kind of fun players anticipate, but with virtual reality, players can take their games to the next level. Now, they’re not limited to four square walls or physical props. In fact, depending on the game, players can swim, fly, climb, and otherwise defy gravity.
View an example of Escape Room VR in the video below:
Themes vary wildly, as well. Mission Impossible and Sherlock Holmes are two favorite themes, but players can experience anything from underground prisons to swanky lounges in D.C. They can also play in any country–or even an alternate universe. Space stations, worlds where time stops, and even the inside of favorite movies are popular destinations!
VR in an escape room partners with players’ imaginations for a truly memorable experience. Business owners find themselves with a product that’s quick to go viral among its satisfied consumers, with little investment in public relations or marketing. It’s a fantastic combination that means maximum profitability!
Arguably the most convincing feature for business owners interested in escape room virtual reality is the ridiculously low overhead. Most businesses simply need one or more rooms, VR headsets, and the VR game itself.
Before, escape room owners had to close down and possibly reconstruct a room to change the theme. Now, it’s just a matter of uploading a new game. Owners can purchase licensed or themed games, or hire developers to create unique games. Headsets will cost less than $1,000 per room as a one-time investment.
While escape room VR games range from $50,000-$500,000, the popularity of escape room VR allows businesses to become profitable almost immediately.
Escape rooms typically charge approximately $25 per person, per hour, but escape rooms equipped with virtual reality can charge much more. At a game fee of approximately $50 per hour per person, and average team sizes between six and twelve people, the potential for profit per room is staggering.
If a room regularly averages six people, and each room has ten sessions a day, business owners easily stand to make over $3,000 per day, per room. It’s not hard to understand why escape room virtual reality is so appealing as a business proposition!
Challenges to Business Owners
Not all escape rooms are created equal, and since the concept is still so new, business owners are right to be concerned that one or two bad escape rooms might seriously damage the reputation of the entire industry.
Another thing business owners must be concerned about? The quality of the puzzles themselves. Puzzles that are too difficult might frustrate players. Puzzles that are too easy might leave players feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.
Escape room virtual reality is one way to offset these challenges. Thanks to its dramatic appeal and exploring capability, puzzles are much more interactive and exciting. They’re also adaptable, enhancing the overall level of customer experience.
The technology behind escape room virtual reality is exploding at a rapid rate, and the future is even brighter for the business owners who take advantage now! Not only is the quality of the games improving, but new advances in technology will continue to make interactions with fellow avatars more exciting.
In the future, visuals will become more and more lifelike, and be able to mimic real life in greater depth. Also, many escape rooms have begun to hire actors to add additional levels of depth to the gaming experience.
It’s not a stretch to anticipate movie companies getting into the game, as well, by offering virtual reality options for escape room players to immerse themselves in their favorite movie experience.
A Virtual Opportunity
There’s just something about the thrill of a good escape! While escape rooms continue to grow in popularity and profitability, escape room virtual reality is truly the next revolution for smart business owners. Getting in on the ground floor now allows owners to both cash in and build a large following now, before the market grows saturated.
Frankly, low overhead and outrageously high margins just can’t be beaten, and smart business people who take advantage will only see profits in the years to come!