Who attends real-life escape rooms?
Live escape rooms have become popular recently. Online games where you had to find a way out with various manipulations were the basis for this industry. The first live escape rooms most likely appeared in Japan and later spread to the US and Europe where they developed in various fields due to the peculiarities of the markets. The industry was most developed in Europe, especially in countries such as Hungary and Russia. I think we can tell here why such things like escape rooms are becoming popular and who is going there.
The main audience of real life escape games are relatively young millennials. These people are mostly familiar with computer and role-playing games and are accustomed to a more active content consumption. This is a generation that wants to find more and more reflection of their digital habits and preferences in the real world.
Of course, the growth of audience and interest from the generation was gradual. Growth of fans of a real life escape room can be tied to the development of the rooms themselves. At first, it was simple puzzle games, one to two rooms with dozens of different locks scattered and hidden inside the room and united by a common topic. The audience of such rooms were mainly amateurs of intellectual tasks, pioneers, geeks, and corporate clients.
With the growth of competition the scales of the rooms began to grow. A single game could contain three to four rooms, design complexity, and an increase of electronics, which allowed a decrease in traditional locks and provide a greater immersion and focus on the storyline. At this stage, the escape rooms became more attractive to the media and the general audience, interest in them began to grow, and a layer of amateurs of this type of entertainment shaped. Finally, now there is a trend of the increasing theatricality and constructability of this format. Escape rooms have increasingly become a space where everything including lights, smells, and sounds is controlled and adjusted to the storyline, and even actors were involved. Unfortunately, there are not many escape rooms of the latest generation, which largely hinders the expansion of the audience. This is the issue of the market saturation and competition.
Once there are more escape rooms of the recent generation of decent quality, there will be a new jump in the audience growth. Then, real life escape games will both become much more unique in terms of topics and storylines and begin to be divided into sports, haunt experiences, theatrical, children's entertainment, etc., taking user experience to a new level and contributing to the further audience growth.