Two New York companies that specialize in live, interactive content have joined forces to create a new firm, Immersive Activations Group, with an eye toward scaling up their activities in the growing market for branded game content.
As part of the deal, Escape Entertainment, which operates escape rooms in New York, London and Philadelphia, has acquired “Paradiso,” the series of immersive theater-game hybrids (two chapters and a premium experience) tied to a shared conspiracy-thriller narrative. The principals of “Paradiso” producer Immersive Escape Productions — including immersive-theater forefather Michael Counts and Jennifer Worthington — will join Escape Entertainment founder Brad Albright at the helm of the newly formed Immersive Activations Group.
The new company’s first outing, “The MasterMind,” draws on the tech capabilities of the customizable, interactive room created for “Paradiso Chapter 2,” for an hourlong game experience that sees two to 10 players challenged by the puzzles set forth by a mysterious adversary.
According to the principals of Immersive Activations, the real potential lies in branded game content, an area in which both Escape Entertainment and Immersive Escape had previously found success. Between them, the firms have created experiences for companies including Amgen, Discovery, Hearst, Jack Daniels, Unilever and Warner Bros. A recent “activation” for Sony, promoting TV series “The Blacklist” and “Timeless,” proved successful enough that its original four-week installation at Sony’s New York headquarters was extended.
“By the end of the activation, it had created more than 30 million online impressions,” said Albright. “That’s a good case study of how a highly immersive activation can be brought to bear for the benefit of promoting product.”
“Every brand of IP wants to do stuff in the immersive space, and we’re kind of uniquely suited to do that,” said Counts, whose resume also includes “The Walking Dead Experience” and a developing immersive-cinema venue in Nashville.
The new company’s leaders foresee creating and patenting new game-experience infrastructures with smaller and smaller footprints, allowing greater flexibility in scale on both ends of the spectrum.
IAG’s new offering “The MasterMind” is now up and running in midtown Manhattan.