“The types of escape games and the expectations of the market are evolving very quickly, especially with the integration of electronics.
Lauriane Scherman is a project manager at Kryptex. She makes sure that a project is carried out in accordance with the client’s expectations, while respecting the budget and the deadline. She explains what motivates her in this job and goes over the specificities of the escape game market in France and in Europe.
What are you doing at Kryptex?
I am a project manager. My responsibility is to ensure that all of the company’s projects are carried out properly, in particular by ensuring that they are profitable. I am the privileged contact of the customers. I oversee and coordinate all of Kryptex’s divisions: the design division, the workshop-construction division, the electronics division, and I am the privileged contact for external contractors, particularly for decoration and installation. I ensure that customers’ needs are met within their budget and within the right timeframe.
What is your background?
I studied communication, marketing and management with a quick stint in the media. Then I worked, as a project manager, in retail for a boutique that created pop-up stores and ephemeral stores. Very quickly, I realized that I liked managing and coordinating projects, and being in contact with different people. I then worked at Petit Bateau for three years. I was in charge of the scenography part of the window decorations, which allowed me to carry a project from its conception to its finalization and installation. Then I found myself in the game space by opportunity. At Echappe-toi Bordeaux I was first hired as an event manager on special projects, as the company was organizing life-size escape games in cultural places to highlight the local heritage and culture. I have worked on an escape game project with a cellar in Madiran at the foot of the Pyrenees. I like to manage a project, from a brief, an idea to its final realization. I like to see things come to fruition. This is the common point of all these experiences.
What are the particularities of the escape game market in France and in Europe?
There are lots of peculiarities, which are constantly evolving. This is a fairly young market, which arrived in France and Europe in the early 2010s. Echappetoi Bordeaux was created in 2015. Today, the Bordeaux metropolis has 17 different escape game projects. It is a market that has grown very fast. The types of escape games and the market’s expectations have evolved quite rapidly, especially with the integration of electronics. Initially, with a padlock and a fairly simple set, we were able to create interesting immersive experiences. Today, players need to be amazed. Competition is increasing. To stand out, you have to create something extraordinary. This requires a good script and a solid electronic system. Making a good escape game is difficult, it must be logical and not too difficult. This market is gradually becoming more professional with dedicated service providers. As the escape game becomes more and more popular, more and more companies want to offer an additional activity. For example, the leisure center of Mimizan wants to create an escape game but doesn’t have the necessary skills, so they call a service provider to set up this immersive experience. With the Covid crisis, the majority of these companies have closed. There is a real demand but an offer that is not yet fully structured. You need impeccable technology, a crazy decoration, with a wow effect. We are also seeing the emergence of new forms of immersive adventures: treasure hunts, action games, quiz rooms… We have more and more requests for these last two types of games. It is also a more profitable model for operators. Indeed, an escape room will deliver its mysteries to the player at the end. There is no point in playing it several times. However, in the quiz rooms, they will always have new questions. The same goes for action games, which are based on a point system. It is therefore possible to play several times, in order to maximize your winnings. These games can be updated more easily, with much less resources.