Summary of our market study

The escape game market, originating from Japan and growing popular  in regions like China, the United States, and Europe, continues to thrive globally with Western countries driving significant growth. As of 2023, the sector anticipates a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 14% from 2023 to 2032. The French market alone boasted 885 escape game venues in 2023, with expectations for increased competition due to a well-covered territory. The 2020 health crisis momentarily disrupted the market's momentum, yet a recovery is expected, fueled by the still-high potential demand for this accessible, immersive activity suited for a wide range of participants.

Despite a brief stagnation in interest, word-of-mouth and positive online ratings (average 4.74/5 stars) continue to be crucial demand drivers. The French escape game market's estimated worth ranged between €204 million and €330 million in 2022. This niche thrives on creativity and diversity, with scenarios encompassing physical, virtual reality, and even home experiences. Setting up an escape game requires distinct steps including premises location, fit-out, scenario writing, and adherence to leisure activity regulations. The French market's structure remains fragmented, largely comprised of independent operators, but is gradually organizing, with no dominating entity as of 2023.

Revolutionizing Entertainment: The Emergence and Expansion of Escape Games in France

In the sphere of leisure activities, France witnessed the birth of a new form of entertainment with the inauguration of its first escape game. Since then, the appeal of these interactive, puzzle-based challenges has snowballed, propelling the escape game concept to thriving heights. The allure lies in the players' abilities to immerse themselves into different realities where they are the main characters of their own adventures, tasked to unravel mysteries and escape within a set timeframe, typically 60 minutes. The genesis of escape games in France may have been modest, but their popularity has surged remarkably.

While France had 885 escape game outlets spotted across the nation in 2023, the market experienced a steady rise over the past years, despite a brief slump in 2020 due to the pandemic. This resurgence speaks volumes about the resilience and potential of the sector, as it bounced back with an alluring prospect, suggesting between 15 and 20 million escape game enthusiasts participated in this unique experience in 2022. The French market for escape games reflects a widespread appeal, owing to the activity's broad accessibility. You don’t need to have special skills or know-how, making it a popular activity for people from all walks of life. Families, friends, and even corporate teams flock to escape rooms for an engaging and collaborative session. This inclusivity integrated with the simplicity and the limited time frame, which suits the contemporary fast-paced lifestyle, has facilitated widespread adoption of the activity.

The market size in France for escape games in 2022 oscillated between €204 million and €330 million, a testament to the nation's affinity for interactive and immersive leisure. Fueling this demand is the indubitable power of word-of-mouth and customer experiences. These avenues have proven to be the pivotal drivers of the market, creating a fabric of genuine endorsements that have resonated more significantly than traditional forms of advertising. Escape games as a part of the wider leisure sector in France positioned themselves adeptly, albeit the industry remained largely unconsolidated, dominated by individual entrepreneurs and small franchises.

The market remains ripe for growth and evolution with no single entity reigning supreme. As for the geographical spread, the growth in the number of escape games in France is evident in both urban areas and smaller towns, with locations blossoming in cities housing fewer than 20,000 citizens to villages, indicating a clear shift in demographics influenced by new trends post-COVID-19.

Exploring the Labyrinth of Innovation: Key Escape Game Market Innovators

Navigating the eclectic world of escape games reveals a tapestry of creative and innovative players that have contributed to the explosive growth and evolving landscape of the industry. With escape rooms blossoming from a Japanese concept to a worldwide phenomenon, a collection of standout companies has emerged, each bringing its unique vision to this intricate market. Let's embark on a journey through the various architects, scriptwriters, actors, and franchises that form the pillars of this inventive domain.

  • Escape Yourself emerges as a leading force within the French escape game scene and the largest franchisor in the country. Known for its engaging puzzles and immersive scenarios, Escape Yourself has expanded its presence with numerous branches, serving as a beacon of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Team Break and Prison Island are other franchises that have carved out significant niches in the market. With their diverse themes and interactive experiences, they demonstrate the burgeoning appetite for escape games that extend beyond traditional settings, offering players a slew of narrative-driven puzzles and challenges.
  • Get Out, Closed Escape Game, and Sensas are more than just names on a list; they are emblematic of the market's vibrancy. Each franchise boasts distinctive adventures and room designs, welcoming players into otherworldly realms and testing their wit and teamwork.
  • Escape Hunt, Prizoners, and BRAIN contribute to the diverse market structure with captivating storylines and innovative gameplay elements that push the boundaries of what escape games can offer enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
  • Then there are those like Virtual Room and John Doe, which have harnessed the power of technology to transport players into not just metaphorical but also literal virtual worlds, demonstrating the future-forward trajectory of the market.
  • Koezio and companies of its ilk hint at the evolution of escape games into experiential learning and training, blending fun with insightful team-building exercises.
  • Escape Games United, Escape The City, and TimeXperience show that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and flourishing, as newer players enter the market with fresh concepts that challenge the status quo and delight players.

At the heart of this entertainment labyrinth, we find figures like **Emmanuel Teboul**, co-founder of Dama Dreams, who personifies the entrepreneurial drive and the commitment to creating absorbing experiences that lie at the core of the escape game industry. Dama Dreams, an independent studio, has demonstrated marked agility and inventiveness.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The escape game is a Japanese concept that arrived in France in 2013. The concept is simple: a team of players is locked in a room, and given an allotted time to get out (usually 60 minutes). This goal is achieved by solving puzzles and making discoveries that plunge the player into a real universe defined by the room. The challenge and multiple possibilities generated by this concept are what make it so popular.

The players in the escape game market are architects, scriptwriters, actors, but mainly the escape games themselves: independent or franchised.

Over the past 10 years, the escape game concept has been gaining ground all over the world, with Western countries being the main growth markets. While the United States and China are the two countries with the largest number of escape games, the leading countries in terms of number of escape games per million inhabitants are European.

Estimates predict spectacular growth for the sector worldwide, with a CAGR in excess of 14% between 2023 and 2032.

In 2023, France will have 885 escape game outlets. Escape games are still making good progress, and the French market is in the process of structuring itself. Nevertheless, territorial coverage is now quite adequate, and competition is set to increase over the next few years. Indeed, in a sector where word-of-mouth and the customer experience are paramount, seniority is not yet an argument, and many new players are shaking things up. The sector is divided between private individuals and franchises, but no major group dominates yet.

The French escape game market is estimated to be worth between €204 million and €330 million by 2022.

The year 2020, with its health crisis, interrupted the excellent momentum in which the brands had been operating, and we can only hope for a solid recovery in 2021. Nevertheless, escape games have shown their resilience, and still have some great opportunities ahead of them. Indeed, industry specialists agree that potential demand is still very high, and that there are still many people unfamiliar with the concept who are just waiting to be seduced.

1.2 The global escape game market

The Logic Escapes me: a review by a specialist blog

The London-based blog The Logic Escapes me reports an overview of the global escape game market, as well as an estimate of the number of escape rooms worldwide, based on data available in the various countries where this market exists. This ...

1.3 French market size and dynamics

Escape games in the Insee register

In France, escape game activities are recorded in the Insee register under NAF code **.**Z Other recreational and leisure activities. Insee provides a sales trend for activities recorded under this NAF code.

sales trends for other recreational and leisure activities NAF code **.**Z France, ****-****, ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 An extremely accessible product with a still strong demand for power

The great strength of escape games is their accessibility. The activity requires no special knowledge or physical aptitude. It's an activity that can be enjoyed with friends, family or colleagues. The format is ideal: ** - ** minutes, and the coverage of the French territory makes it easy to reach the entire French ...

2.2 The French and leisure activities

Average weekly leisure time France, ****, in hours per week Sofinco

The French spend an average of **H** per week on leisure activities. Retired people spend the most time with **H**. Men spend an average of * hours more per week on leisure than women.

Leisure choice criteria France, ****, in Sofinco

pleasure, well-being ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Creating an escape game

The escape game business is not yet well defined. Most of the players are private individuals setting up on their own or as franchisees, and therefore organizing the preliminary stages of opening a site on their own. In an article, the escapegame.fr website summarizes the various stages involved in "Setting ...

3.2 Local escape games

Distribution of signs in the region

[***]

Overall, the growth in the number of escape games in France is largely due to medium-sized cities. The growing emergence of escape games in medium-sized towns such as Saint-Étienne, Orléans, Tours and Clermont-Ferrand reflects a marked craze for this form of entertainment. ...

3.3 Franchises in a market still dominated by independents

The two development options for opening an escape game are independent development and franchising. Franchises can be developed in two ways:

Purchase of specifications: the entrepreneur is responsible for creating the settings and mechanisms on his or her own account; Full franchise: the franchisor takes charge of building the room.

The ...

3.4 Interview with Emmanuel Teboul, co-founder of Dama Dreams

Marine: Welcome to the Niche, the podcast that analyzes the niche market with the entrepreneurs who are shaking things up. I'm Marine and I work at Businesscoot, the start-up that's dusting off market research before it starts. Subscribe to our podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcast. And now for today's niche: ...

3.5 Value chain

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Offer typology

Escape game prices

Escape game pricing France, ****-****, in euros Lesfrancslimiers

Many sites don't display their rates, so they can be more flexible depending on the number of players, the day of the week and the time of day (***), the price is displayed. In the table below, escape game familly prices ...

4.2 A highly diversified offering

The creation of escape games relies on imagination and inventiveness, and behind the unifying concept lie a host of possible variations. The escapegame.fr website reports on the distribution of French brands by adventure theme.

Breakdown of escape game chains by theme France, ****, in Source: ****

The breakdown is not dominated by ...

5 Regulations

5.1 General regulations

Regulations specific to escape games are rather light, given that this is a new market still in its infancy, but there are certain measures that need to be taken into account. The measures that apply are the more general ones specific to ERP (***). [***]

For those that have an impact on the ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation: franchises

List of escape game franchises with at least two branches in France :

  • Escape Yourself
  • Get Out VLS Entertainment
  • Escape Hunt
  • Collock
  • John Doe escape game
  • Brain
  • Challenge The Room
  • Closed Escape Game
  • Coopéria
  • Escape Games united
  • The One Escape
  • Escape Time
  • Escape Shaker
  • Prisoners
  • Team Break
  • Wescape
  • ODYSSEE PROD

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Growth in the size of the worldwide escape game market
  • Escape game reviews and comments on the Internet
  • Evolution of interest in the term "Escape Game
  • Escape game pricing
  • Breakdown of escape game brands by theme
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Latest news

Ten years after their arrival in France, escape games are moving upmarket - 10/02/2023
  • 4 million players in 2022
  • Number of outlets in France 874 by 2022
  • Nearly 2,500 rooms
  • Market estimated at around €500 million in sales

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Escape Yourself
Get Out VLS Entertainment
Escape Hunt
Collock
John Doe escape game
Brain
Challenge The Room
Closed Escape Game
Coopéria
Escape Games united
The One Escape
Escape Time

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