Identity Games is around since 1992. The two founders, Albert Meuter and Emile Kalis, once started making games for companies, but recently won the price for Game of the Year in the category 12+ with Escape Room The Game. We're pretty excited about the game and it's expansions ourselves. Reason enough to have a chat with the people behind this successfull game.
This year you released Escape Room The Game. How did you come up with the idea to make a board game variant of escape rooms?
"The mother of a co-worker had just played an escape room and asked us why we didn't have a game of that. The first thing we thought was: "Why didn't we come up with this ourselves?" and we went to work right away. It's such a logical idea!"
How did you get inspiration for the game?
"We played a lot of escape rooms, were constantly making puzzles for eachother and literally locked ourselves up for hours, in the creationroom, to brainstorm."
What were the biggest challenges while developing the game?
"The biggest challenge was staying as close as possible to the experience of an actual escape room. Because you're not locked up, just sitting at a table, in your own home. The other big challenge was the fact we couldn't make any physical assignments. Everything needed to be paper and cardboard, but still we wanted to amaze people with our puzzles.
Are they any things you would have differently in hindsight?
"Yes, that's always the case while developing a game. For the creators of a game it's never finished. Luckily there are expansions, so we can put all the things we want in there."
"At the end of the year we'll release two versions with Virtual Reality glasses. Those are going to be spectacular!"And now you even won the price for Game of the Year in the category 12+. How did that feel?
"Amazing! Everyone at Identity Games worked really hard on this game. We all worked day and night on it. We were so happy and still extremely proud!"
Does it open doors or create new possibilities?
"First of all it's a mark of quality for consumer, the confirmation it's really a good game. Aside from that it's a great thing to show to our foreign distributors; we would like to sell it to as many countries as possible of course."
So was it really nothing but positive feedback or did you get some criticism as well?
"Overall people are really positive. We actually get mails of people thanking us and the reviews on the internet are great as well. People sometimes find it unfortunate that you can only play the game once, but that's why we're making these expansions now. So you can keep playing."
And how are the reactions to these expansions? Do they get the same appraisal?
"For sure! The reviews and reactions to the first two are really good. This year we'll be adding four more and at the end of the year we'll even add a special one with Virtual Reality!"
More and more escape room boardgames seem to enter the market. Do you see those as competitors or do you strengthen eachother?
"That's true, not that surprising since it's a popular phenomenon and it's logical other parties will play into that. You can't prevent it and that's okay. For us it means a challenge, keep renewing ourselves and make sure we offer the best game."
And now? What's next for this succes story? More expansions or a new game?
"For sure! There are two expansions now and two more are coming! At the end of the year we'll be adding two versions with Virtual Reality glasses. Those are going to be spectacular!"
We can't wait!