How to open an escape room business

The minimum set of information needed for those who want to open an escape room.

Read other articles about creating an escape room:


>> Escape room scenario - necessity or whim?
>> Key tips on designing an escape room
>> Electronics, props and puzzles for escape room

>> 8 types of players, knowledge of which will help make your escape room better

>> 10 best themes for escape rooms

>> 9 unusual formats of an escape rooms

>> 11 life hacking how to make a great escape room and get maximum profit

>>A great DIY escape game - 8 of the best books in the world for those who build their own escape room

>> 8 services to create a site for an escape room

>> Best booking systems for escape rooms

>> Escape cubes - new word in escape games industry

>> Portable (pop up) escape rooms in the box


In many ways opening the escape room is like opening up any business. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to begin make profit. Certainly, escape room business has certain nuances, the main ones of which we will now consider.


Format


Determine what format will be an exit game. There are 2 main options:


  • In the room. Initially, it requires substantial investments. On the other hand, it’s safe for visitors, is maximally protected from various force majeure. Despite initial significant investments, maintenance is usually quite inexpensive;


  • Playing in a city or in nature - low cost of opening, but strong dependence on weather conditions. Inability to fully ensure the players safety can lead to serious reputational losses.


Legal registration of business


Most countries do not require a license or permission to open an escape room business. However, in some states strict rules apply to any restriction a freedom of movement, where permits will still be required.


For a city exit game you need the local authorities permission, coordination of time, venue.


Required:


  • registration a legal entity;


  • registration of the right to use an premises/territory;


  • instructing with disclaimer, which must be signed by players before a game;


  • observance of fire safety, sanitary norms.


Choosing a location


For escape game in an open area, a location must match scenario. The terrain must be as safe as possible - games are not allowed in dilapidated, ownerless buildings, near high-risk facilities - railway tracks, large motorways, power lines. To ensure that players don't get lost, need's to place border signs, set up loudspeakers or give out walkie-talkies.


Find premises for escape room easier. It should be good transport accessibility, have parking nearby. Advisable to choose non-residential houses - noise may interfere with residents.


Space size depends on plans scale. For one exit game, an average of 35-40 м² (25-30 м² game zone + 10 м² at reception, administrative zone). If you expect to attract corporate segment, an area of 60 м² + is required, to comfortably accommodate large number of people.


I recommend finding a large premises where will can be open 2-3 games, even if you don't plan to open them at the same time.


Doesn't matter: repair condition (almost certainly have to redo everything), windows presence. These shortcomings may greatly reduce rent cost.


The cost of opening an escape room


Although cost is an individual indicator for each individual project, basic approximate costs can be calculated for the following items:


  • The cost of legal entity registration. This also includes compulsory business insurance (some countries);


  • Scenario;


  • Electronics, automation;


  • The price of repair, making scenery, props, puzzles;


  • Furniture, office equipment, video surveillance system;


  • Rent during a construction period;


  • Marketing costs, website creation and booking systems.


There are also constant operating expenses. This is rent, taxes, wages, advertising, current minor repairs, unforeseen circumstances.


Based on operating costs, profitability is calculated, reasonable price level, which don’t scare visitors and gives good net profit.


Independent work / Professional ER designer / Franchise


All options have their advantages and disadvantages.


Independent work guarantees full creative freedom. It's free. But creation an escape room without experience is a difficult task. At any time there is a risk of occurrence of reefs. Some of them can be very expensive, up to the project complete collapse.


Buying a franchise, you may get a free scenario, advisory support, good marketing tools, advertising. But the franchise purchase is already quite expensive, and it will not bring you much closer to an escape room creation: props, equipment, construction constitutes separate cost item. Also, many franchisors refuse to work if there is no strict compliance with their requirements, which will not allow you to feel themselves a full-fledged business owner.


Designer's services are a compromise option. It's not free, but cheaper than buying a franchise. In addition, the business remains completely under your control. Competent ER designer can create an escape room of dream (considering a budget, advisability and reality of implementation), maximally protecting you from errors and unforeseen expenses.


If you need ER designer's services write to me at me@superengineer.ru, or contact me through website. I've been creating escape room from scratch around the world for more than 3 years now. In my work I put emphasis on a customer's wishes and possibilities. I don't neglect quality, I make sure that a project can be inexpensive in construction, but at the same time interesting to visitors, and therefore commercially successful.


With respect, Vladimir Kalugin.


Portfolio

Click on the picture and go to the page with a detailed story about the escape room creation:


The story of the creation of the escape room “Apocalypse”. Alicante, Spain.

The story about creation of a high-tech escape game "Apocalypse"

Creepy "Mad Vet" escape room.

 Nice, France

A story from which you will learn how to save 10,000 euros on decorations.
And how to build the most atmospheric escape room in Nice.

Mystic escape game
"Room 1408".
Nice, France

An exciting story from the escape room construction about the hotel in which strange things happen. 

Creation of "Edison - The Machine of Spirits" escape room.

Ashdod, Israel

An epic story with photos about how the real escape game is built.
With the sending of scenery and electronics from the RF.

https://medium.com/@verybigflyfrog/creation-of-the-matrix-escape-room-germany-dusseldorf-10f578a0a390

Creation of the "Matrix" escape room. Dusseldorf, Germany

The biggest escape room that I built. Read the construction report at the link below.

Escape room: “There is someone In this house…” construction story — from an empty room to the first game.

The story of creation the creepy performance escape room about an abandoned house.

How to make a fearful and interesting horror ...

Photo report about escape room for children.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Photo from the process of building a children's escape room "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." WITHOUT sending decorations and electronics from the RF.

How the Mossad escape room was built. Ashdod, Izrael

Detailed photoreport about creation process of the escape room "Mossad - Shadow Wars" in Israel.

Portable escape game- "Hackers Attack"

Montreal, Canada

The story of the creation of a portable game that fits in several boxes. It is created for carrying out games at office or at the customer's house.

Thank you for visiting my site

Ordering a script or building a escape room from me you get:
Builder with 3 years of experience building a escape games;
Engineer with an experience of working with electronics for more than 8 years;
Designer and decorator who will perform the creation of all the necessary objects of entourage for your escape room;
The scriptwriter who writes not only an interesting script with unusual puzzles, but also thinks how to save you money.


Sincerely, Vladimir Kalugin

Escape room creation services

Experience in the escape games industry since 2014.

Scenario for an escape room

The scenario, which describes the puzzles and the plot, is the main document for the escape room construction.
If you intend to make the escape room by yourself, you need this document. For many years I have been writing scenarios for a escape game of various formats:

- Classic escape rooms

- Outdoor escape games

- Mobile escape rooms

- Portable escape rooms

- Tourist escape games

- Gamification of excursions and museums

- Escape room for advertising a main business

Portative escape room

Portable quest games that fit in multiple boxes. Easily fit in the back seat of a car. Props and riddles are made using unique gameplay models so that the impressions of the players are as positive as possible.


The quest contains more props and is a complete replacement for the classic quest room in the new version.

Escape room construction services

Construction of escape rooms anywhere in the world. You get a unique product created by all the rules of game design. The construction process is as open and understandable as possible. Creating an escape room for any task and any format including the most non-standard solutions:


- Escape games with actors

- Real-life escape rooms

- Escape games in a bus or container

- Portable escape rooms

- Outdoor escape games

Making props for an escape rooms

Production of photorealistic body parts and corpses entirely in full size silicone. Human-made corpses for an escape room, arms, legs, fingers, organs.

If you make a horror game, silicone premium props will be a great decoration for your escape room.


- Whole body

- Legs, feet

- Hands, wrists, fingers

- Heads, eyes and organs

Escape rooms creation services in the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, England, India, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal.
Script + making scenery + automation.