Escape room games have become very popular in recent times. It started as physical themed game rooms where the players and their team would voluntarily lock themselves in. They will only be able to get out after solving several puzzles. They would also have to accomplish tasks relevant to the escape room game scenario. All these within 60 minutes. But the pandemic changed the industry.
Online escape rooms started gaining ground during the heydays of the pandemic, eventually being able to substitute for physical experiences. There have been several changes in the escape room industry. Everything starting from- escape room mode, mechanisms, and even booking methods had changed. The changes were also impacted by recent trends, which were influenced by current demands.
To get into the upcoming trends, we must understand the factors impacting the escape room industry.
1. Growing Market:
The escape room market is a relatively new and developing market. To entrepreneurs, this is a profitable business, so the industry is seeing great investments. According to the report “The State of the Escape Room Industry 2018”, 59% of escape room owners had plans to expand within the next year, but that was before the pandemic and the recession.
2. Saturated Market:
Even though it is a growing market, the escape room industry is very saturated due to its increasing popularity. That is why there is a need for innovative themes, fancy technologies, and different modes of playing, which could become a unique selling point of a particular escape room game.
3. Stiff Competition:
Sadly, the escape room industry is facing stiff competition within itself because of the saturated market. The innovative selling points just aren’t enough. The entrepreneurs are attracted to the rising popularity and overpopulation of each city with escape rooms. This is leading to stiff competition among the escape rooms. This is impacting the marketing strategies of the escape rooms and also leading to an increase in the room charges even during the pandemic.
4. Booking Method:
Since safety has become our main priority in the past two years, online booking has almost become the norm. Increasing focus on brand image and SEO has stabilized the online booking platforms. It has become convenient as well as accessible to book an escape room near you.
Upcoming Trends Of Online Escape Rooms
The escape room business took a hit during the pandemic, but it has quickly turned around with the success of virtual escape room games. Online escape rooms are not a new thing. The escape room games were already inspired by video games and locked room mysteries, so this transition is natural. Now we just have to be on the lookout for the new and upcoming trends in the online escape rooms.
1. Virtual Escape Room
Virtual escape rooms have become a massive hit in the past two years while we were all locked (yeah, pun intended) inside our homes. Escape rooms have always had some technological aspects, but the digitalization of the games is relatively new. You only need the help of a video conferencing app and an escape room code to solve the puzzles. You can play in private rooms or get paired up with other solo players.
These games are more accessible to a wide range of people. It also encourages the same principles as good communication skills, time management, team effort, etc. The virtual escape rooms also include new innovative themes and game rooms. Many of these online escape rooms are freely accessible, making them even more popular.
2. Total Immersion
The next big thing from an online escape room is total immersion. There are more possibilities than ever before. The games have leveled up with time. The scenarios, puzzles, and even the usual tasks have all become even more immersive. There is now a trend of bringing real-life actors into virtual escape rooms as NPCs- non playable characters. They will interact with the other players without slipping up and will further help the players with collecting clues.
3. VR Integrated Escape Rooms
Virtual reality or VR concepts are becoming popular in physical escape rooms and online escape rooms. They are a new and exciting addition to the escape room games. They are providing the players with a more immersive experience and set up the stage for other advanced modes of playing games.
4. Video Game Escape Rooms
It is undeniable that video games partly inspire escape rooms. The escape rooms are actually a real-life gamescape, often recreating video game structures. But recently, virtual escape rooms have been popularizing video game mode escape rooms. They could be heavy-handed video games playable on a gaming pc or they could be more easily accessible via mobile applications.
Since many of these games are free and conveniently accessible, they are attracting a huge crowd. Video game escape rooms have become the biggest trend in online escape room games in the past two years, and it is unlikely that their popularity will die down anytime soon.
All businesses have to adjust to the industry trends and demands of the time. Escape Rooms are no exception. Escape room games are fun because of the excitement we feel while solving the puzzles. The overall ambiance created by the scenario and the game techniques does not get severely impacted by the mode of the game- virtual escape room or physical escape room.
But since it is an evolving game genre, it is all the more fun with new technologies and gadgets used in the escape room games. In virtual escape room games, there has been a lot of new input, and that has made the escape room games even more attractive to the players.