How to Start an Escape Room Business

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How to Create A VR Escape Room: Startup Costs

According to the market research firm, Grand View Research, the global VR gaming market is poised to reach $45 billion by 2025, with the United States and China leading the charge.

So, VR technology gives the whole gaming industry a makeover. It gives almost limitless game options, wins new customers, and allows standing out among competitors.

If you are thinking about starting your own VR Escape Room business, then keep reading.

How to Start an Escape Room Business

If you've decided to open a VR escape room, make sure you are well prepared and are aware of all pitfalls. Following these easy steps will help you be focused on your business and stick to a certain plan.

1. Develop a business plan

This is a must for all entrepreneurs because a business plan should feature a budget, an operating plan, a payback period, etc.

2. Open a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your security guard company is sued.

3. Find a reputable developer

This step is crucial as the quality of your rooms determines everything. Make sure a developer has enough experience, has an impeccable reputation, offers a variety of games, provides 24/7 support, and releases games regularly (at least once in 2-3 months).

After you have decided on the developer, analyze your target audience (its needs). Based on this information, choose the necessary genres.

For instance, ARVI, a leading developer of innovative VR escape rooms, comes up with various rooms for every taste. People can complete an exciting quest with children and save Christmas, save the city from terrorists, escape from prison, or travel to the future.

4. Find a suitable premise

Find a premise in a densely populated area with good traffic. The facility should have good ventilation (windows are not necessary), there should be enough place for the staff and for at least two play areas. The minimum space for one zone must be at least 7x7 ft, and the ceiling height should be 8ft. The special design is not required. However, these are the minimum requirements, and there is always room for improvement.

5. Buy the necessary equipment

Virtual reality equipment (HTC Vive or HTC Vive Pro), a computer with the latest graphics card and GPU, a minimal set of furniture for staff will cost you about $3,600.

6. Promote your VR escape room

The first step is to launch a user-friendly website and be active on social media. The website should contain all the necessary information, including a list of rooms, prices, a reservation system, and an extended FAQ section. Also, create your brand and logo.

On top of that, add extra features to stand out. For example, an instant photo of the team after completing the quest for free or unlimited drinks can be possible options. Such small details will help you win a loyal audience.

7. Hire a professional manager/game master

A professional game master guarantees 50% of overall success because this person interacts with customers. The game master must have the necessary knowledge of VR technology, VR equipment, and be able to approach others in an open and friendly manner.

How Much Does It Cost to Start an Escape Room

The price varies between $8000 and $15000 as it depends on many factors, including the rental value, a business license and insurance, salary for the manager, the cost of equipment, and the cost of the games.

On average, the initial investment in equipment is about $3,400, other expenses are calculated individually for a certain room.

Franchise Cost for an Escape Room

Buying a franchise is a great way to minimize risks and develop your business in a more stable and consistent way. ARVI offers the following scheme to those who open one VR zone. The cost of one VR escape room for one player is $25, and the maximum number of game sessions per month is 300. All figures are approximate.

  • The cost of equipment is about $3400.

  • Game manager salary is $3500.

  • The rental value is $2 per sq.ft.

Royalties to ARVI are calculated based on the number of VR escape rooms.

Providing that the monthly gross income is $3750 from one zone, royalties to ARVI make $750 (20%). See more here
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