Top tier escape rooms are rare.
The highest quality escape room companies we’ve come across have created maybe four truly top tier games each… and it’s taken them a few years to create those games.
Most of the best games we’ve played are operated by companies with only one or two rooms.
As a rule, when companies open with more than three games, the games aren’t the cream of the crop. I have yet to find the company that proves this statement false.
Why are companies with more games weaker?
It is hard to craft a puzzle that is smart, fun, and rapidly solvable. It’s even more difficult to keep that puzzle on theme. Now to make that puzzle tell a portion of a story… that’s no small feat.
And that’s just one puzzle.
A top tier escape room usually has somewhere in the realm of 10 puzzles. None of them are filler. None of them kill time.
It’s a mind-boggling challenge to tell a complete story through 10 truly amazing puzzles. We can count on one hand the companies that have really nailed this.
When a company makes a whole bunch of rooms at once, they spread their best ideas out among the different games. Instead of building a single amazing game, they build a collection of not-so-amazing escape rooms.
Not-so-amazing escape rooms
There are companies that are flooding the market with low quality games.
Some of these businesses are created by well-intentioned folks who just didn’t do their homework.
Some of these companies are operated by cynical people trying to cash in on a trend.
I’m not naming names… yet. If you’ve been around the escape room block, you know these companies when you see them.
Make no mistake about it, these companies are the single biggest threat to the industry.
When new players find their way to mediocre (or worse) games, they think that these poorly planned, pathetically executed games are indicative of all escape rooms. Those players are far less likely to try out another game.
It’s a big problem. More threatening still, many of these crappy companies flood the deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial with staggeringly discounted offers that draw in new people and then deliver a bad time.
These not-so-amazing escape rooms are the competition.
Quality games grow the industry
Quality games breed addicted players.
When a player leaves a game wanting only to play another one, it grows the industry.
There aren’t a ton of games of this caliber because they take a lot of time and effort to craft.
Help each other out.
Tell your players about the other truly outstanding escape rooms. Point the players in the right direction.
If the best companies thrive and starve the incompetent companies of players, then the bottom-end of the market has only two options: improve or perish.
If quality escape room owners would realize that they aren’t truly in competition with other quality escape room owners, the industry will continue to thrive.
No company can create enough top tier games to dominate the market.
The companies that are attempting to push tons of games out the door are producing garbage that isn’t fit for human consumption. That’s your true competition.