How to add virtual reality escape rooms to your entertainment business

Posted on: 2021-01-27

Socrates once said, "I know that I know nothing." You may feel like you're at that point with escape rooms. But don't worry. You came to the right place.

Having previously lost my own entertainment company to COVID-19, I personally understand how the pandemic has set a lot of entertainment business owners back. I'm happy to be on the vrCAVE business team now, as it lets me help some of those still working to make it through. For many, it's still going to be tough for a while, and you may be looking for ways to diversify your offering to reengage past customers and put yourself in a strong competitive position when location-based entertainment demand is back. One option? Add a virtual reality escape room.

Whether you already run existing escape room experiences or another business where you're looking to add a virtual reality component, let's talk about the escape room — and VR escape room — opportunity in the entertainment market.

Why Escape Rooms?

Escape rooms have been a growing force across North America for the better part of the last decade. According to Room Escape Artist we've seen more than 2,300 locations open from 2015 to 2018. With the pandemic there's been a shrinkage, but the pandemic will not be forever and the market will be hungry for these exciting social entertainment experiences they've been missing out on as global vaccination programs begin reaching sufficient coverage.

Income averages for escape rooms are around $125,000 a year. At an average return on the investment of six months you can understand why many locations have opened up (and still are!) around the world. But like anything in business, that doesn't mean it's easy.

Escape Room Challenges

Imagine you walk into an escape room and it's just a series of mis-matched puzzles with nothing tying them together. That's a recipe for 1-2 star reviews, and is all too common with new escape rooms.

What you need is a strong theme centered around a compelling story where all those physical puzzles and props relate back to and strengthen it. That means market research, design, testing, prototyping, more testing, construction, sourcing appropriate, affordable props that fit — and more testing. The creative side here might well be fun, but you need to make sure it's profitable, and you won't always have the time it takes to get a room going that's making money at the pace you need in the space you have.

Another prime escape room challenge? Working in the reset logistics.

  • Props need to go back to where they're supposed to be — sometimes, they need repair
  • All locks and other puzzles need to be reset
  • During COVID-19, everything a customer might have touched needs to be sanitized

The longer it takes to reset a room, the higher the chance of a mistake, the fewer patrons you can put through at your peak times, the bigger the impact on your bottom line.

Creating and building a room that's fun for your patrons, memorable enough to get them talking, and simple enough to reset — that's what you need to solve. That's where VR can offer an alternative.

Solving Challenges and Reducing Risk With VR

With a VR escape room like those offered by vrCAVE, you're not creating the room itself. We've already done that. That means all those problems are solved, which means adding escape experiences to your business has never been easier.

Our rooms have been professionally designed with our partners' customers, and your future customers, in mind. They've been tested thoroughly — and proven, being in use at more than 50 partner locations worldwide.

Attendees around the world love VR rooms alongside the traditional physical rooms, and business owners love the ease of use. Resets are done with the click of a button. Hints can be given in-game. And they easy to add to a business. You don't need props, construction, and interior design. You just need an empty room.

The How of Adding VR Escape Rooms To Your Business

There are just three simple steps you need to take to open up and start generating a new revenue stream — in as little as two weeks.

Step one: Connect with our team and gain access to the demo

See for yourself how it feels to be immersed in a totally new world with full freedom of movement.

Step two: Assess your space and needs

Decide where you'd like to run your VR escape room and select the correct headsets for you.

Step three: Installation

Once you know what you want, installation is a breeze — and our team is on-hand with support to help you get set up and trained on the new equipment.

Ready to take the first step? Whether you run an escape room or other family entertainment business, you can contact us anytime right here. We look forward to hearing all about your location-based entertainment and learning how we can help get you set up with a VR escape room of your own!

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