Published on May 24th, 2018 | by Dean Love1
The Game Is Now
So here’s an interesting one. Earlier this week for International Sherlock Holmes Day a mysterious announcement was made by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss on YouTube, letting us know that there was something related to the BBC TV series Sherlock happening later this year. But it definitely wasn’t a news series, movie, or anything like that. We’re then directed to head over to www.thegameisnow.com , sign up for the mailing list, and try to figure out what’s going on. If you do there’s a neat little audio clip of Sherlock and Mycroft discussing recruiting “real people”.
Now, I’m no Sherlock when it comes to solving mysteries* but I did used to Google stuff on the internet for a living. So I can look up the new company, The Game Is Now Limited, on Companies House, verify the address matches the one on the website so we’re sure it’s the right one, and see that it has three officers: Timucin Kaan, Matthew Krupnik-Kay and Simon Jason Oliveira. It also shows us that Doyen Global Limited have controlling shares.
So why does this matter and why are we writing about it? Well if you’re reading a website about escape rooms, you probably remember Time Run, regarded by many as one of the best games out there, which recently closed down. Time Run have been hinting at a new project in the works also due to launch later this year. So far, so much speculation, but let’s see what happens when we look up Time Run on Companies House – would you believe it, Matthew Krupnik-Kay and Simon Jason Oliveira are both listed as officers of Time Run too, with a Doyen Marketing Ltd having controlling shares.
Now there are a few oddities here. Firstly the relevant profile pages on Companies House for those two officers don’t link through to each other – they each appear to have two different entries, suggesting they could be different people. But those names aren’t exactly John Smith. Secondly, The Game Is Now Limited are listed as being in the business of “Publishing of computer games”.
Still, it’s too much evidence to ignore, and there clearly is some sort of link between the Time Run team and this new Sherlock project. Though the reality is, that still doesn’t tell us much. It suggests that The Game Is Now will be some sort of interactive, real world game (and not, for example, a Sherlock convention) but we would probably have guessed that from the fact it has Game in the title and is listed as coming to London, so clearly exists in the real world. I don’t want to tell you it’s a Sherlock escape room, because frankly that’s far too boring a concept for the Time Run team to take on. This is a team that had what was generally agreed as one of the best games in the country, and so for their second game went in a completely different direction and tried to redefine the very notion of what an escape room could be. They’re undoubtedly going to do that again. Maybe the Companies House data suggests something with more of a video game element, but that could just be misdirection.
And I guess there’s also the fact that the last episode of Sherlock was basically set in an escape room.
What is significant is, if true, this will likely be the highest profile escape game-adjacent thing we have ever seen in the UK, dwarfing even The Crystal Maze live attractions in terms of media attention and likely demand for tickets.
(* though I should stress that team Escape Review’s Consulting Detective drinking game is the stuff of legends)
In researching this I noted that @LouisaGummer on Twitter figured this all out about two days ago and was mostly ignored
Header image (c) BBC