Batman x Spyscape: First look at the interactive attraction in New York
On Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, right next to a Chik-fil-A, is Spyscape – a two-story, futuristic-looking museum/interactive experience space that gives Spycraft lovers an up-close look at the world of espionage.
Now DC’s famous Caped Crusader is about to descend on Spyscape.
Batman x Spyscape is a hybrid experience that uses a live-update smartphone app to guide visitors through the physical headquarters of Leviathan, the DC Universe criminal organization. The attraction is scheduled to open to the public on Wednesday, June 8th.
Spyscape founder John Hunt gave diversity a brief preview of this week’s installation (although he asked that we not show photos of the inside).
The experience puts you in the middle of a Gotham City mystery: you are recruited to help Batman solve the mystery and foil Leviathan’s evil plan, some of DC’s greatest superheroes, such as Wonder Woman, Superman and (of course) Batman, to defeat. It’s not an escape room per se, but your progress through the installation will depend on the details you discover in each area of Leviathan HQ. From a business perspective, escape rooms are the closest competitor to Spyscape’s immersive experiences, according to Hunt.
Before their visit, users are asked to download the Batman x Spyscape app to get the gist of the story. Once inside the building, ostensibly on a guided tour of the Leviathan offices, they are recruited by the mysterious Oracle, an alternate identity of Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl). The Oracle hacks Leviathan’s security system, giving you access to the group’s control center and labs to solve a series of kidnappings. During your visit, you’ll receive real-time in-app news from some of Gotham’s most iconic characters – including The Riddler and Batman himself. (Spoiler alert: you won’t see Batman up close; Hunt says this is to preserve his enigmatic mythos.)
Even after they’ve left the venue, there’s still more to tell about the app. Hunt said it took a year to develop the software to run Batman x Spyscape.
Spyscape produced the Batman exhibit in association with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment. “Our premise is that ordinary people do extraordinary things,” Hunt said. “Warner Bros. came to us because that really suited Batman.”
Batman x Spyscape tickets have an introductory price of $29; Hunt said tickets will eventually be bumped to “$49.” At the end of their tour, in addition to a range of other merchandise, visitors can purchase a comic book that retells the story they just experienced – with a comic book version of their own selfie.
Batman x Spyscape features an original story by Gail Simone, who wrote for DC Comics’ Batgirl and Wonder Woman. It also includes new artwork by artist Jim Calafiore. The immersive exhibition was designed by Mona Kim Projects.
By next Wednesday, Hunt said Spyscape plans to have Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini (from “The Dark Knight”) installed at the facility — suspended 50 feet off the lobby floor. This will join James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 driven by Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s “GoldenEye.”
Spyscape occupies 60,000 square feet at 928 8th Avenue (between 54th and 55th Streets). It opened in 2019 – but largely closed during the COVID pandemic. Hunt said the company, which is backed by British investment firm Archimedia, hopes to eventually open up to 50 more locations around the world.
Spyscape’s main interactive exhibit attracts 1,000 to 2,000 visitors per day, according to Hunt, with adult tickets costing $39 each. It’s part museum — with artifacts including Nazi Enigma machines and a U2 spy plane camera — and part interactive experience that uses quizzes and tests to create a personality profile for each guest. Hunt, a Brit based in London, said his team worked with an AI specialist at MI6 to develop the personality analysis software. However, Spyscape does not scour the web to dig up your personal information or social media posts. “We’re not dicks,” Hunt said.
According to Hunt, approximately 60% of Spyscape’s visitors are millennial women. Most of the venue’s marketing is done through word of mouth, as well as through Spyscape’s two newsletters, which each have around 250,000 subscribers, and a number of original podcasts on spy-related topics.
https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/batman-spyscape-interactive-experience-new-york-1235283938/ Batman x Spyscape: First look at the interactive attraction in New York