Escape room enthusiasts don’t really matter, yes we said it. And while this might seem like a controversial statement, let us emphatically repeat that we are not overly concerned with the opinions of escape room enthusiasts. Now hear us out before you start to protest. It’s important to remember that we’ve been at this for a while, so we’ve met a lot of customers. Some of our kindest, favourite customers are escape room enthusiasts. We’re always excited to see them. But that doesn’t mean that we take their perspectives into account when we build new missions, and here’s why.
There absolutely is such a thing as too much experience, and most escape room enthusiasts have it. They travel from facility to facility consuming as many escape rooms as they possibly can. For many enthusiasts, it’s not enough to just try out different facilities, there is an art to comparing them. They tend to dissect and analyse the various components of every game they play. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this! In fact, enthusiasts are often able to speak about their experience in much more detail than other escape room players. But the breadth of their experience does not represent the majority of escape room players.
To be very clear, enthusiasts have not played one or two games more than the average player, they’ve often played hundreds more! And while that is super fun and gives them a unique perspective, it does set an enthusiast’s expectation apart from the majority of escape room players. By dissecting their experience, and having an intimate understanding of escape room design, their viewpoints are unique and stand out against those of our usual customers.
This brings us to our third and final point; enthusiasts have a very skewed perspective. Their level of experience leads them to look at escape rooms with a perspective that’s uniquely their own. Most enthusiasts tend to break escape rooms down into multiple parts. They analyse theme, set, layout, design, puzzle path, and overall experience. All of these elements are vital to the success of an escape room, but the customers are usually only concerned with how much fun they have. They want to feel that the game is fair and engaging.
Enthusiasts have a role to play in the escape room industry. They help us keep up our standards, they help us push for excellence, but any company that says they are building their games for enthusiasts is not being genuine. Escape room enthusiasts don’t represent the escape room customer base because of the amount of experience they have. They’ve made it their mission to know as much as possible about how escape rooms work; how they’re built and designed. But with knowledge comes power; enthusiasts are able to look at escape rooms the way the designers do because of their expertise, and therefore can’t quite see them from a customer perspective. In order for escape rooms to stay lucrative and viable, they have to create new, forward-thinking experiences. They need to focus on what the majority of their customers want: immersive, interactive, and dynamic experience-based games.
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