A BRIEF HISTORY OF LIVE ESCAPE GAMESThe origins of Escape Games comes from video games called ‘Escape Rooms’ or ‘Escape Games’. The player had to solve mysteries by interacting with the people around him in order to escape from the room and move onto the next level. The first Escape Game video game, Crimson Room, was created in 2004 by Toshimitsu Takagi. This coined the term Takagim used to refer to this kind of game.
The Japanese company SCRAP first transformed the concept in 2007 into a Live Escape Rooms. Its founder, Takao Kato, wanted players to be immersed in the game. The players should play in a themed room and solve mysteries to escape within the allotted time. Escape Games started to pop up in the rest of Asia before arriving in Europe. In China, the ‘Beijing Takagism’ club was founded in 2012.
Budapest, in Hungary, was a pioneering city for Live Escape Games in Europe. In 2011, the company Parapark was created. Its founder, Attila Gyurkovics, had the idea to open a Live Escape Game without knowing that they were already well developed in Asia. Attila was working on a new Team Building project. A year later, the origin of the escape game continues with the first franchise opening in Hungary: Hint Hunt. The same year the company SCRAP set up in the United States under the name of “Real Escape Game”. Hint Hunt rapidly exported the concept to the United Kingdom, and then France in 2013. 2013 was also the start of the Escape Game story in Canada.
WHAT ABOUT TODAY?Today we have 367 escape rooms across France, including 64 Escape Game in Paris operating under more than 20 different brands. Following Hint Hunt’s success, many rooms opened from April 2014, and even more in 2015. Almost 10 new Escape Games opened every month between April and June 2015. And the history of the Live Escape Game is not over yet as more rooms are still opening each week.
WHAT ARE INSPIRATIONS FOR ESCAPE GAMES?We can see many differences between Asian and European escape rooms. In Asia, competition is a key factor for success of a brand, whereas in Europe customers are more focused on wanting an immersive experience.Treasure hunts have also been an inspiration for Escape Games because players must look for clues in specific areas of the room.
Inspiration for the different Escape Room themes is often drawn from books or films and we hope to grow the business, by creating new and exciting ideas, @ Sutton Estate.