Results from the 2015/2016 Survey

Abstract survey graphicThis is the five hundredth item on this blog, or the 501st if you count the map as an item. It’s a lovely round number, certainly, but celebratory hoopla will be saved for another occasion.

Nearly two weeks ago, this site sent out 75 e-mails to exit games in the UK, with representing total of 88 locations, inviting them to take part in a survey. Twenty-four replies have now been received, featuring twenty-three answers, which is a pleasing rate of response. The first twenty came in time for a preliminary results presentation and analysis at The Great Escape UK last week; at that point, it was suggested that the full results would be made available within a week so now is the time to shut the lid on the survey.

Here follows a summary of the results. The percentage values quoted are not intentionally misleading, but the sample size of 23 is moderately small. On the other hand, maybe it’s just the best data that we can expect to get!

1. How was 2015 for you and for your business?

52% of respondents gave a somewhat generic positive response (good, really good, fantastic etc.) and 13% specifically suggested they found things exciting, though 17% conveyed a sense that things have been tough or that their learning curve had been steep. 52% of respondents identified as being from new businesses; 26% pointed to expansion, growth or new rooms in their answers here and 9% suggested that 2015 had been better than 2014. 30% identified that they took pride in the good reviews that they had received and 13% proudly quoted the number of people they employed.

2. How do you feel 2015 was for the world of exit games in the UK at large?

57% of replies here pointed out the number of openings and 22% observed more general growth in the market. 35% identified increased awareness of the genre among the public, 13% noted the popularity and the quality of reviews and 26% gave a non-specific positive response. 9% of responses hinted at observing the start of market saturation.

3. What can you reveal about your plans for 2016?

57% of answers referred to at least one new room, 26% to at least one new site and 13% to planned forthcoming change to their existing rooms. 17% talked about spreading their brand through franchise or licensing arrangements. Finally, 13% hinted more vaguely at new projects, more experimental games or expansion outside the traditional definition of exit games.

4. What do you expect to see happen to the UK’s exit games in 2016?

The most overwhelming conclusion in the whole survey is that 83% expected more openings; an interpretation might be that some or all of the remaining response was from people who considered it sufficiently self-evident not to express. 22% said they expected further closures. 13% pointed out that they thought the market had not reached “the top” yet; 35% expected the new games launched to be better or more experimental and another 13% anticipated a better year in the media for the market.

5. What are your biggest concerns for 2016?

30% expressed concern over the effect of bad games on newcomers; 13% feared too much competition, or too many new sites, and 9% worried over the potential for their games to be copied. 17% used phrases like the beginnings of market saturation or the analogy of a burst bubble. Happily, as many as 22% of responses said they had nothing to worry about!

This site wishes to thank everyone who responded to the survey and looks forward to seeing how things compare in another year’s time. The raw results are long and accordingly behind the “Read more” link below.

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The 2015/2016 Survey and some events coming up

Abstract survey graphicThis site has just sent out 75 e-mails to exit games in the UK, with representing total of 88 locations, inviting them to take part in a survey. If you see this and didn’t get the survey – either because this site might have used the wrong address, or couldn’t find an address at all in a handful of occasions – then this site apologises and invites you still to send in your responses by e-mail. The views of players and other participants would also be interesting and most welcome (perhaps as a comment to this post?) but only site operators will have their responses tallied for the final results.

All responses are anonymous; if you choose not to mention the name of your site in the answer to a question then nobody will know the answer has come from you.

1. How was 2015 for you and for your business?
2. How do you feel 2015 was for the world of exit games in the UK at large?
3. What can you reveal about your plans for 2016?
4. What do you expect to see happen to the UK’s exit games in 2016?
5. What are your biggest concerns for 2016?

This site hopes to have a few dozen responses trickle in over the next week or so (there have been ten responses within about as many hours so far; credit to the proprietor of Puzzle Room for being the quickest off the mark) and will collate and present the results in an article here. The first place to hear the results will be the The Great Escape UK unconference taking place in Leeds on Wednesday 13th January (i.e., a week tomorrow). There have been at least twenty people sign up for the unconference, and the unconference structure is a tried and tested model, so it should be a really good day. There still are spaces available if you haven’t signed up yet and want to come.

However, if you don’t want to have to wait another week, there’s fun on the agenda this weekend. Scott Nicholson is promoting the first BreakoutEDU Game Jam which invites people to use the BreakoutEDU toolkit of generic exit game apparatus to devise educational exit-like games that might be played in the classroom, library, museum or other educational environments. (While the equipment list is a constraint, it’s also a platform; you can rely on other people having the right equipment to replicate your game.) People are invited to meet up in locations around the world to co-operate on their games. This site isn’t yet sure if there are any locations definitely confirmed for the UK this weekend, but the Facebook events page definitely suggests there’s interest here. For some people who might be interested in creating their own room but know that they aren’t well-suited to making it a business venture, this might be an ideal opportunity.

If that’s not your thing, it’s not the only option! The World Puzzle Federation‘s 2016 Grand Prix competitions start this weekend with this year’s first Sudoku Grand Prix, set by the Dutch team. If 90 minutes of hard but interesting sudoku and variants sounds like your cup of tea, register an account at the WPF site (which is free!) and take a look at the instruction booklet. Then carve out a 90-minute slot this weekend (late Friday through to most of Monday) and go wild!

Milestone 100: a quick survey

Milestone showing the number 100Depending on whether you count the post with the map or not, either there have been 100 posts on this site already or this is the 100th post to this site. This has taken about four months, though this site has always been a “posts every now and again” site rather than a “new post every day” site. Grateful acknowledgements are due to Iain and Phil for their excellent posts along the way and potential contributors are warmly invited to get in touch.

It’s hard to know quite how many visitors the site gets. We have hit count statistics, but – for all WordPress blogs – it’s difficult to know how many of them arise as the result of automated spammers, whose attempted contributions are largely blocked; it might be 75% of our many hundreds of visitors per day, it might be 99.75%. Accordingly, it would be very much appreciated if you would take 45 seconds or so to fill in this anonymous survey, and a hundred posts is as good a milestone point as any. Tick as many or as few boxes as you like for each question; all the questions are completely optional, though participation may set a cookie on your computer.

Thank you for considering it!

Milestone 100: a quick survey

Milestone showing the number 100Depending on whether you count the post with the map or not, either there have been 100 posts on this site already or this is the 100th post to this site. This has taken about four months, though this site has always been a "posts every now and again" site rather than a "new post every day" site. Grateful acknowledgements are due to Iain and Phil for their excellent posts along the way and potential contributors are warmly invited to get in touch. It's hard to know quite how many visitors the site gets. We have hit count statistics, but - for all Wordpress blogs - it's difficult to know how many of them arise as the result of automated spammers, whose attempted contributions are largely blocked; it might be 75% of our many hundreds of visitors per day, it might be 99.75%. Accordingly, it would be very much appreciated if you would take 45 seconds or so to fill in this anonymous survey, and a hundred posts is as good a milestone point as any. Tick as many or as few boxes as you like for each question; all the questions are completely optional, though participation may set a cookie on your computer. Thank you for considering it![wwm_survey id="0"]