Has it really been a year since I posted my first set of predictions on this site? Apparently so. Well, since then the UK market has continued to explode in a way that no one suggested twelve months ago. There are now 600 or so rooms in the UK across well over 200 venues and a good chunk of them are based in London.
So, what about all those predictions? Well…
Prediction: I reckon this is the year where franchises come to London
Verdict: Well, I was kind of right, kind of wrong. In the end, we got three: Escape, Omescape and Locked in a Room with a total of 20 rooms and eight different games (where I’d predicted two franchises with around five games). I really thought we’d see two or three of the international franchises head to London but still nothing.
Prediction: 22 rooms, 19 different games and ten venues from brand new (to London) companies.
Verdict: Not the best estimate in the world – the end result was approximately double what I predicted with 43 new rooms, 31 new games and 19 new venues.
Prediction: Year end totals: 78 rooms, 58 games, 28 venues.
Verdict: All in all, this turned out to be a pretty solid estimate albeit in part because there were more closures than I’d anticipated (see below). The final numbers were 89 rooms, 56 games, 34 venues. Locked in a Room’s arrival with 13 rooms but just two distinct games is probably responsible for that first stat looking particularly healthy and fewer expansions that I’d expected but more new arrivals helped to keep the games total accurate while meaning I missed the venue count by a fair way.
Prediction: A couple of successful kickstarter projects and a couple of unsuccessful ones.
Verdict: Not really. Enigma Quests ran a successful kickstarter project but that was it as far as I’m aware.
Prediction: More popup escape rooms
Verdict: Kind of. There were at least a few. Handmade Mysteries ran a weekend popup at a South London pub and clueQuest ran one at ComicCON. As part of Nights at the Museum, the Senate House ran a Fire of London themed game.
Well, the other thing to mention is that we lost several games: Enter the Oubliette had all too short a run, Sherlock Unlock and Hidden Rooms both went under suddenly and Escape Games London isn’t taking bookings
I’m not going to attempt more predictions here but watch out over on http://exitgames.co.uk for a UK-wide view in the next few days.