Dallas Morning News – Dom DiFurio – June 11, 2021 – DMN Article Link
Dallas’ Electric Gamebox is the digital escape roomlike experience you’re about to see everywhere
The company just announced an $11 million funding round to fuel its expansion, which will include opening three more Texas locations this year.
Electric Gamebox, which has a single U.S. venue in the Dallas area, will have locations in major metropolitan regions around the country over the next five years.
The company announced that it raised $11 million in its latest funding round, bringing its total capital raised to date to $25 million. Electric Gamebox plans to use that funding for a “bold” expansion that will see more than 1,000 Electric Gamebox venues open around the world by 2026.
It expects more than 100 of those venues to land in major U.S. metro areas over the next five years, and it plans to open locations in San Antonio, Houston and Austin by the end of this year. The company also has three venues in the U.K., where it’s headquartered globally.
Electric Gamebox is an immersive group gaming platform where as many as six people can play as a team to overcome challenges and solve puzzles. But there are no clunky virtual reality headsets — the entire game takes place in a private, white room in which the game environment is projection-mapped across the walls. Players wear small visors that track their motion and location in relation to objects in the game.
Game sessions must be booked ahead and can last 60 minutes and range from $10 to $35 per person.
The company is also searching for a corporate headquarters location in Dallas to support its growth. It expects to expand its team of 50 employees to a few hundred by the end of 2021.
Why North Texas? The region is the home of U.S. location-based entertainment, founder and CEO Will Dean said. It’s home to movie theater chain Cinemark as well as other experiential entertainment companies like Dave & Buster’s, Main Event and Topgolf.
Dean, who co-founded the world famous Tough Mudder team obstacle race, started Electric Gamebox with the idea of creating an experience that challenged people of all ages.
“My criteria for my next business after Tough Mudder was kind of twofold. It didn’t have to be curing cancer, but I had to believe it was making a positive difference in the world … and you know, I really like the idea of using technology to bring people together,” Dean said.
Dean likens the mechanics and setup of Electric Gamebox to an escape room, but the company is also developing other games. It has six different game scenarios and plans to have at least 100 over the next five years. In one of the current games, tech billionaires start a colony on Mars and players have to mine “Elonomium” — a clever play on Elon Musk’s name — to build the largest colony possible.
Dean said the company was pleasantly surprised to learn recently that Electric Gamebox has been a hit with families that have children on the autism spectrum.
“It’s quite humbling when you have a family come in … and you’ll have a mother say, ‘There’s nothing that we as a family can all enjoy together; this has been quite game-changing for us as a family.’ And, ‘This is something we look forward to all week.’ ”
The Electric Gamebox venue in The Colony’s Grandscape has been fully booked on weekends since it opened in December, Dean said. And that’s despite the pandemic.
“It’s very socially distant,” Dean said.
The games are targeted toward all age groups and are family friendly, but they’ve also been popular for corporate team-building events. Dean said he expects to see even more corporate event bookings in September as companies return to in-person work.
Interested in more information about Electric Gamebox?
Contact Jacquie Stone: 214.934.8340 // firstname.lastname@example.org
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