Personal retail has faced a number of significant challenges in recent years, not least fierce competition from online retailers and, of course, a global pandemic. In an effort to lure consumers away from their screens at home and back to retail stores, and to increase sales, many malls and shopping centers are looking for leisure and entertainment experiences on their sites. And just as technology has permeated nearly all areas of our daily lives, virtual reality and personal gaming experiences have become immensely popular in recent years.
One company that is capitalizing on this trend and taking the lead is the UK-based gaming platform company Immersive Game Box (formerly known as Electric Gamebox). Immersive Gamebox provides immersive gaming experiences for groups of players in interactive digital rooms called Gameboxes. First launched in 2019, it currently operates in five locations here in the UK, including the Lakeside Shopping Center in Essex and the Manchester Arndale Centre, with two more locations to be launched soon. The brand also has ten locations in the US, with more planned openings in the pipeline.
Founded by CEO Will Dean and CFO David Spindler, who also founded the Tough Mudder and Tough Mudder Bootcamp brands, the Immersive Gamebox concept leverages technology such as projection mapping, touchscreens, surround sound, motion tracking, and Lidar and 3D motion tracking technology. and offers a range of licensed and original in-house developed games. The brand made headlines earlier this year when it announced that major partnership with Netflix to launch an immersive Gamebox game from Squid Gamesbased on the popular South Korean survival series.
Last month, Immersive Gamebox made two major announcements. It announced the appointment of Lisa Paton as COO to lead the company’s ambitious growth plans. Paton has worked with a number of major franchise brands in the past, including Brewdog, Pizza Hut, Yum! Brands, McDonald’s and most recently Wingstop Restaurants Inc. In connection with this, the company confirmed that: it has signed franchise agreements worth $91.5 million allowing it to expand globally with plans for over 250 new game boxes over the next 3 years and confirmed agreements with partners to reach the UAE, Ireland and Germany. Majid Al Futtaim Leisure Group, which owns and operates a large number of shopping malls, outlets, hotels and leisure attractions in the Middle East and North Africa, plans to open two branches in the UAE initially. 3F Entertainment in Germany will open 34 locations, the first of which will be in Berlin, while Imgair Ireland Ltd will open 50 Gameboxes across Ireland. Discussions are also underway with franchise partners in Australia and Canada, all part of the gaming brand’s plan to build a global blended business of both proprietary and franchised (non-US) sites.
“We are excited to sign franchise agreements with such strong partners as part of Immersive Gamebox’s rapid expansion. The purpose of our company is to bring people together through technology-driven shared play, and our franchise partners play a key role in bringing Immersive Gamebox globally.” said Dan.
Just as working together as a team is the key to completing a Gamebox game, working with the right franchise partners is essential to the successful global growth of the gaming brand. Immersive Gamebox’s expansion plans may be ambitious, but as consumers continue to crave new and exciting entertainment options that combine coziness with technology and cannot be replicated in their own homes, they could prove to be a winner for retail partners, franchisees, and gamers-players. tie.