BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Electric Gamebox invites you to mix up your socialising with something a bit different and to immerse yourself in new digital environments with your family and friends. Here, RLI sits down with CEO Will Dean to learn more about this unique concept and what makes it stand out in a world full of technology.
Founded by Will Dean, the man behind Tough Mudder and David Spindler, who conceived and launched the Tough Mudder Bootcamp franchise, Electric Gamebox is founded on the belief that technology should bring people together versus driving them apart.
Whether it is being graded by aliens, searching for rare martian minerals or saving the queen’s corgis, Electric Gamebox brings people together through shared play and their mission is to make IRL screen time social again.
The concept behind the business is for guests to enter an interactive digital room that features projection mapping, touch screen, motion tracking and surround sound so visitors can enjoy a hyper-immersive and totally unique 30 or 60-minute experience unlike anything that has come before it.
The company currently operates three sites in the UK. The first was launched in central London in Southwark, and there are additional sites situated in the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester and The Lakeside shopping centre in Essex. The first location outside of the UK will open this month in Dallas in the US, with another site to follow in Texas in early 2021.
“The plan for us moving forward is really to ramp up our expansion roll-out,” explains Will Dean, CEO of Electric Gamebox. “We would like to do this as quickly as we can because what we have designed with this concept is something that is highly replicable and capital efficient. If circumstances and opportunities allow, we definitely want to reach 100 locations within the next two years.”
The core focus of the Electric Gamebox experience is simple game play that is a social activity for the entire family. The games on offer move away from traditional elements people may associate with a videogame, such as player-versus-player or general competition; instead the focus is on games that are fast, fun and ones that anyone can launch themselves into instantly.
“If you can’t understand the games in the first five seconds and if you are struggling to play them in the first ten seconds, then we are doing something wrong as our approach is to build simple games accessible for all within this hyper real world,” comments Dean.
For example, the simplest game on offer is Temple of Coins, where players run around eating coins and they take it in turns.. Another is titled Harry’s Pub Quiz; where players are asked questions that are situated all around the room and must move around quickly to respond. With touch screen technology within the walls, it is another simple concept but it is one that is incredibly fun.
The business is currently in the process of building games for younger children and incorporating educational content into the platform, combining learning with fun and games. They are also designing some ‘choose your own adventure’ style games where players make a series of choices and these selections affect the game and the experience they have.
When it comes to social media, Dean feels that, whilst they retain their own social channels, the most important part is creating compelling user generated content. “Social media is all about people posting things that are interesting about themselves that are engaging and attract views. Essentially that is what we are trying to do; we are trying to give someone an interesting experience onsite that is then easy to share across social media platforms.”
The idea behind the company is to bring people together through shared play and doing something positive in a world that has seen a lot of negativity recently. “We want to get people together, to give them the platform to enjoy themselves and laugh and end the experience with a shared memory that they can hold onto,” Dean says.
Looking to the future, Dean explains that as the company is growing very quickly right now, the hiring of great people and the right people for the right roles is pivotal and it is something he spends a lot of his own time working on. “It is about having a team of people who will take the initiative and handle the responsibility of making the company better tomorrow than it is today so recruitment is a big focus for me right now.”
Secondly, he feels that making sure they find high quality venues in the UK, US and everywhere else is of great importance and finally is making sure the company has great partners in order to move forward successfully.
“Building a successful company is all about surrounding yourself with the right staff, the right venue and the right partners so these are the things I am focused on at the moment as we try to move this business forward into 2021 and beyond,” Dean concludes.