Peak Blockbuster LARP?

SJE

Bibliomancer
Validated User
#1
So this is from a European view rather than America, but in the last few years there have been a rising number of incredible Nordic blockbuster LARP's which generally involve renting a Polish castle for 3 nights and writing a game with a beloved property (be it Harry Potter, Downton Abbey or Vampire the Masquerade) and incredible production values. A lot of it has been led by Studio Dzobiak, but there have been other big events such as the recent De La Bete and other games inspired by their ambition.

The latest Dzobiak plan was a LARP based off the Rocky Horror Picture Show - and given its cult fanbase enjoy dressing up and transgressing social mores, I'd have thought it would have a wide crossover with many LARPers. They are running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it and sell tickets: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rocky-horror-show-the-larp--2

But.. they are struggling to fund this Rocky Horror LARP extravanganza which I found surprising as I'd have thought it was a dead cert. Part of it is undoubtedly cost- at 500 euros for a basic ticket, its probably 100 euros more expensive than even other Dzobiak projects.

The other thought that occurs to me is that with so many big LARP events available, and more people pitching new ideas, its possible we've hit market saturation for the time being? Have we hit peak blockbuster LARP or is this just a one off?
 

Dalerik

Preaching Gaming Anarchy
Validated User
#2
Yeah, that seems to be my takeaway from this.

The blockbuster scene is limited a lot by both people being limited in their interest, the expenses to travel being added at top of the event price, and there might not be enough people willing to take the chance to play Rocky Horror, especially from a organisation whose style is "bring your own game".

Honestly, I think they've stretched themselves too thin lately. The people who play this hobby are often not as financially stable as the resort experience that they've tried to emulate.
 

IdiotSavant

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Its not a one-off. Imagine Nation had a similar lack of interest earlier this year when they tried to kickstart a 60's US navy larp called battleship. I think the common factor here is concepts which don't have the appeal the design team thinks they would. Sure, "Battleship" would have been set on an actual battleship, but its not as immediately attractive as wizard university. And while Rocky Horror has a fanbase with good larper crossover, clearly there's only a limited pool willing to do it as a larp, for a whole weekend (while making an actual B-movie as well).
 

Caias Ward

Active member
Validated User
#4
Its not a one-off. Imagine Nation had a similar lack of interest earlier this year when they tried to kickstart a 60's US navy larp called battleship. I think the common factor here is concepts which don't have the appeal the design team thinks they would. Sure, "Battleship" would have been set on an actual battleship, but its not as immediately attractive as wizard university. And while Rocky Horror has a fanbase with good larper crossover, clearly there's only a limited pool willing to do it as a larp, for a whole weekend (while making an actual B-movie as well).
I know the Imagine Nation people well. Good thing about Kickstarter is that it let people float the idea first without huge upfront costs.

The Rocky Horror event would be great... if it were not in another country.

Dystopia Rising does so well for Imagine Nation/Eschaton Media because 1) they caught lightning in a bottle early on 2) the costs aren't crazy. Even with buying full build, opting out of NPC (a limited option), it's less than $100 a weekend, with base event fee of $50.
 

Tumbleweed

Supporting Cast!
Validated User
#5
Dystopia Rising does so well for Imagine Nation/Eschaton Media because 1) they caught lightning in a bottle early on 2) the costs aren't crazy. Even with buying full build, opting out of NPC (a limited option), it's less than $100 a weekend, with base event fee of $50.
I'm not quite sure if I'd list DR as a 'blockbuster' LARP. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's got some great production values, and the staff puts a ton of work into it ... but at the same time I'd say it's got more in common with 'ongoing' boffer-larps like Amtguard or whatever. I guess you could kind of make the argument that the big yearly 'crossover' games are the closest to the 'Blockbuster' status, but it's still not quite on the level of renting a Polish castle-- for better or worse.
 

Caias Ward

Active member
Validated User
#6
I'm not quite sure if I'd list DR as a 'blockbuster' LARP. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's got some great production values, and the staff puts a ton of work into it ... but at the same time I'd say it's got more in common with 'ongoing' boffer-larps like Amtguard or whatever. I guess you could kind of make the argument that the big yearly 'crossover' games are the closest to the 'Blockbuster' status, but it's still not quite on the level of renting a Polish castle-- for better or worse.
I wasn't calling it a 'blockbuster' either. I was using DR in reference to Battleship.
 

Serket

Registered User
Validated User
#7
Larp is a risk. It's expensive in time and money and emotional commitment, and if it goes wrong everything you put in can be a complete waste. Raising any of those commitments raises the risk. There must be at least a few people who are like "I could go to a Rocky Horror larp for 500 euro, or I could dress up and go to a sex club for a lot less, without the pressure to perform all weekend."
 

Chris Tang

Registered User
Validated User
#8
I think Rocky Horror is a bad example for this. Rocky Horror fans dress up in costume and already have their own events that are much cheaper where there are established mores that are pretty close to larping or at least scratches some of the same itches. I'm not a resident of Europe so I can't claim to know that environment and scene but I can say how I would react as a larper and a Rocky fan and if I saw that here in the US I would opt out and look for a different premium experience and we're absolutely not saturated on that kind of game here in the US.
 
Top Bottom