The werewolf problem is spreading to the realm of your childhood, as today co-designers Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin of our August Indie Spotlight escape room game The Werewolf Experiment have announced a deal to license their inaugural Escape Room in a Box title to Mattel. (Yes, that Mattel.) The household toy-making company has been looking to make inroads into the hobby gaming scene in recent months, and it appears both sides feel this deal will make a good fit, as they posted in the most recent update to their campaign’s Kickstarter page:
A while ago we made a game that we loved. We put it on Kickstarter and hoped to sell a few hundred to friends and family.
And then you happened. Over two thousand backers came pouring in, flooring us with your support and enthusiasm. And larger game companies took notice.
We started taking meetings and received numerous offers. Ultimately, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the following:
We have licensed Escape Room In A Box: The Werewolf Experiment to Mattel!!
Mattel is the perfect partner for so many reasons. First and foremost, they get this game (one is even a backer!) and are preserving what makes it unique and awesome. Their team is made up of smart, hard working, and passionate gamers who are deeply invested in making the most wonderful product possible.
The games that you will receive are the original “first editions” that we made independently and there are only 3000 of them in the whole world!
Late this year Mattel will be releasing their version of the game. It has a few differences that we can’t spell out (spoilers!) but is basically the same game that you helped launch into the world.
As a thank you for making this happen, there are a couple non-spoiler things we want to highlight that are entirely unique to the version you’ll be receiving:
1. The artwork by the incredible Gage Ullman is distinctive, beautiful and will only be seen in this edition.
2. We made your prize at the end even cooler and higher quality than what we promised. Not to give too much away, but we use ours nearly every day and always receive compliments.
3. There is a second keepsake item that we branded with Gage’s art for everyday use and admiration.
Thank you again for all your support and kind wishes. Enjoy your games! We hope most of you remain human, unless you want to become a werewolf…
Ariel & Juliana
Considering their intent to make The Werewolf Experiment just the first of many escape room titles has been part of their roadmap since day one, Mattel’s operational size and access to a much higher production scale could indeed help this ambitious escape room series with reducing component costs and production time, both of which could help them remain competitive in a rapidly-growing gaming genre that they indirectly helped create. We for one couldn’t be happy for them, and it’s certainly a well-deserved development – even if that means the title may not be ‘indie’ for that much longer.