November 1, 2023 – Merlin Entertainments, one of the world’s largest attraction operators, and Immersive Gamebox, an immersive group gaming platform, have recently unveiled a multi-million-pound partnership aimed at creating immersive family experiences.
According to the companies, the multi-territory partnership, which spans Europe, the USA, the UK, and Australia, hopes to deliver immersive experiences that leverage cutting-edge technology and intellectual property (IP) to engage a diverse audience.
The initial phase of the partnership will see the launch of two Immersive Gamebox venues, with the first locations set to open in Sydney, Australia, and Oberhausen, Germany, by the end of 2023. The collaboration also holds potential for expansion across the Merlin Estate in the years ahead, including regions such as the UK, US, and APAC. Each Gamebox location will feature eight free-standing Gameboxes, each of which can accommodate 2-6 players per play session, and run games lasting between 30 and 120 minutes.
“Immersive Gamebox provides a prudent business model and an immersive ‘come together – play together’ experience that is second to none. This new, exciting chapter with Immersive Gamebox is being executed with the hope that with success will come a deeper rollout throughout our global estate,” stated Scott O’Neill, CEO of Merlin Entertainments.
When it comes to IP, Merlin boasts brand relationships with HASBRO’s Peppa Pig, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Jumanji, Ferrari, Cadbury, and an exclusive partnership with the LEGO Group. Immersive Gamebox, which combines motion tracking, projection mapping, touch screens, and surround sound to provide 360-degree immersive experiences, also brings a suite of family-driven IP partnerships with entertainment groups like Paramount, Rovio Entertainment, Aardman, and Netflix.
Some of Immersive Gamebox’ partnerships have already resulted in several IP-driven immersive experiences, including a PAW Patrol game, a life-sized Angry Birds slingshot game, and an immersive Squid Game experience based on the hit Netflix show (not to be confused with Sandbox VR’s virtual reality Squid Game experience). Immersive Gamebox also recently announced a collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment for a new Ghostbusters game.
“We are committed to bringing our audience the very best partnerships which enable us to create one-of-a-kind immersive games they’ll love anywhere in the world,” said Will Dean, CEO and Co-Founder of Immersive Gamebox. “Given Merlin’s position as a global leader in location-based attractions combined with their track record of scaling across markets, the agreement also supports further expansion of Gameboxes globally.”
Merlin Entertainments stated that the partnership Immersive Gamebox aligns with its own strategy to expand its offerings in Europe, the US, the UK, and the ANZ region while creating robust clusters of ‘Midway’ attractions in key tourism hubs. These Immersive Gamebox experiences will complement a range of existing attractions within these city clusters, catering to visitors of all ages.
Merlin’s Midway attractions include destinations like Peppa Pig World of Play, LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds, the Dungeons, SEA LIFE aquariums, and landmarks such as the Sydney Tower Eye and the lastminute.com London Eye.
Immersive Gamebox has built a proprietary technology platform that drives fully immersive, multi-sensory experiences. The company has more than a dozen games from its own in-house gaming studio, along with IP partnerships with globally recognised entertainment studios. The company also noted that it is also set to sell 1,500 Gameboxes to franchise and concession partners this year, with plans to open 100 venues within the next 12 months.
Image credit: Merlin Entertainments
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Sinead is a freelance copywriter and marketing professional. She has many years of experience in covering industries including tech, utilities, and the environmental sector.