Escape Success Rates
Escape Room success rates and victory times are NOT about who visits your business. The percentage of those that “get out” and “win” is not directly related to how smart they are. In fact, even though people embrace their escape time with pride, it has little to do with how they performed. These rates and times tell more about puzzle design and intention of the company than they do about the client.
Can that be true?
It can, and in most cases, it is. People automatically think that their escape time reveals how well they worked together. They believe it shows how intelligent, clever, and creative they are at problem solving. If they have lots of time, they must be smart, if they have very little time, or don’t escape they must be dumb. But that isn’t how it works. In fact, Escape Room success rates, all the way down to the exit times are engineered by the game designer. It is important to know this if you are an Escape Room owner because you can use escape rates and exit times to your advantage.
Here is how. Successful Escape Room companies use their rates and exit times to enhance their overall identity. They can become “harder” or “easier” and build that reputation intentionally. That reputation directly involves and attracts a specific demographic. Adjusting the success rates and escape times ultimately determines who walks in the door and spends money at your entertainment venue.
If the objective of the company is to provide the most challenging Escape Rooms in the industry, then they will ensure a very low percentage of people will be successful. It would draw competitive businesses like lawyers, people in sales, and personalities that thrive on comparing their results to others. If this is your objective, add additional puzzles to a timeframe, control the factors of room setting, place “red herring” props, or alter the ability to discover the answers. By turning off the lights, adding redundant puzzles, making batteries in a flash light be a separate component of problem solving, you can dramatically lower the Escape Success Rates of any given room.
If the company objective is to provide a complete experience, one where winning is integral to your identity, then game flow is altered to create a high success rate. This would target families looking for memorable experiences, corporate office clients focusing on teamwork, and date nights that incorporate positive feedback. It makes sense that there would be either fast-paced puzzles or fewer puzzles if the goal of your venue includes having a team exit the room with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Your escape rates and victory times tell far more about the personality of your business than it does your clients. Be sure these rates and times match your purpose and compliment your identity in the business. Adjust them if you need to by altering the gameplay. Far ends of the spectrum on escape rates and victory times are not wrong. There is certainly room for both in the community, and creativity can be shown in each.
In the end, a success rate in a room is an intentional part of how you design your gameplay. Using that element of your identity is a key to determine the feel of your marketing. It will change what pictures you choose to publish, what specific targets you use for Facebook marketing, and helps solidify your place as unique in the quickly growing Escape Room community. For more on how to intentionally form that identity, read this article here.
Whatever escape rate and victory time range you target be intentional about it. When a significant number of people have completed the room, pass or fail, you can establish a baseline and begin adjusting it. We believe the best companies in the business have their rates determined within 5% after a few dozen teams have gone through. That means if you only want 10 out of 100 groups to win, you are successful if 5-15 win.
Furthermore, the range of success times is not broad, typically they land within 8 minutes of their default failure time. If you want your target clients escaping with 10 minutes left, you are successful if they get out between 2 and 18 minutes. Realizing that window is key. That means constant revisions, feedback from customers, and adjusting the amount of puzzles is necessary after a baseline is attained.
Design on purpose, in line with your identity, and you’ll have the escape rates and times you’re looking for. Revise, revisit, and review these rates and times if they don’t match your overall purpose and demographic. This may sound over-simplistic, but I can’t stress it enough– “Be what you are in every way, and you’ll attract the customers you’re looking for”.