NEW YORK — Video games are about to be taken to an entirely new social level with the launch of ESC Game Theater, a first-of-its-kind, high-tech experience where up to 30 people play wildly fun, casual games on a massive screen in a room pulsing with lights, special effects, music and energy.
A 750-square-foot, custom-designed, free standing structure, the ESC Game Theater has debuted during the busy holiday shopping season in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, one of the largest malls in the United States.
Creating a completely new type of immersive entertainment and gaming experience, the ESC Game Theater features a movie theater size screen (11′ H x 30′ W), concert-quality surround sound, and more than 50 multi-color LED and strobe lights, including synchronized lighting effects driven by game play. A live emcee adds to the excitement and quickens the learning curve by offering tips and advice, providing play-by-play commentary and encouraging teamwork. Built for tournament play, the theater will host competitions where teams and individuals will compete for special prizes.
Using wireless, touchscreen, motion-sensitive devices, players can compete in more than a dozen five-to-seven minute games custom-built for the 30-player platform. Highlights include Robot Basketball, where teams must score baskets while moving along a roller coaster track, and Pixel Prison Blues, a fresh take on the classic cops and robbers game. The game offerings range from collaborative to competitive, and can be played as teams or individuals.
The game costs $5 to play and lasts 10 minutes. Tickets are available from Dec. 8-10 for the theater.
“In an age where most interactions are between a single person and a screen, people are increasingly hungry for group experiences that provide an opportunity to have fun and interact with not only friends but also strangers,” said ESC Games founder and chairman Edwin Schlossberg. “ESC Games takes the ideas driving current game trends a major step further by harnessing the latest in technology and entertainment to create an unparalleled gaming and social experience.”
Charley Delana, Executive Vice President, Global Brand Ventures at Westfield, added that the ESC Game Theater builds on Westfield’s efforts to reimagine the future of shopping centers and malls.
“Westfield is committed to redefining the shopping experience by leveraging the latest in technology and digital entertainment innovation,” said Delana. “We are thrilled to welcome ESC Games to Westfield Garden State Plaza and we are looking forward to giving shoppers the chance to be among the first in the world to experience the future of gaming and entertainment.”
With the video game industry projected to see 18 percent annual growth, ESC Games CEO Todd Swidler said he sees opportunities for ESC Game Theaters to expand throughout the United States and internationally. A former top executive from Bloomberg Media and the NBA, Swidler recently joined the ESC Games team to help the company capitalize on growth.
“The video game industry is experiencing explosive growth, and we see major opportunities for ESC Games to pioneer a new category that taps into that demand through our unique game experience and competitive tournaments. The possibilities are vast,” said Swidler.