HBO: The Escape

Izzy Hyams

HBO: The Escape

Creating Escape Rooms at SXSW for HBO’s Game of Thrones, VEEP and Silicon Valley

We created a gamified HBO Escape Rooms for mega fans of the network’s biggest shows. Game of Thrones, VEEP and Silicon Valley.

Students hunting for clues in the VEEP Oval Office

Escape rooms at SxSW

Recreating three iconic sets from the famous series, we invited fans to escape through a series of challenges. With only 5 minutes on the clock for each room they had to escape. Over 1500 people walked through the HBO Escape Rooms over three days at SXSW, generating a lot of press coverage.

Timelapse of the Escape Experience build

Show-stopping challenges

The team connected each challenge to the show’s plot. Visitors first entered an Oval Office recreation from VEEP, where they could find clues to progress. Up next was the hacker house from Silicon Valley.

Visitors had to find clues to unlock the next room in the experience

Celebrate on the Iron Throne

Once they had solved the hacker challenge they entered the Game of Thrones room. The team modelled this set from the Castle Black series. If they solved the challenge on a 3D map a door was opened to the final room featuring the iconic Iron Throne.

The third room to escape from - Castle Black from Game of Thrones
The final room revealed the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones

From testing to VIPs

First we tested the experience with millennials and college students. Then we optimised the experience for VIPs at SxSW in Austin – to reach TV, film and tech enthusiasts.

Thousands came to the SxSW experience in 2017

Celebrity response

The response was incredible, with thousands of people attending the 15 minute experience, over three days. Even actors from VEEP and Game of Thrones took part.

Even the Stark Sisters from Game of Thrones joined in

“We used the premise of escape rooms but gave them our own twist. We had the challenge of creating an amazing fan experience and also needing as many people as possible to be able to experience it”.

Michelle Craig, Creative Director
HBO Escape the Expected
The server room experience based on HBO’s Silicon Valley

“At South by Southwest this year, the network is giving attendees a real treat—HBO: The Escape, an activation that turned the famous sets of Veep, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones into intricate escape rooms.”