It is a rare opportunity to witness the birth of a completely new industry in one’s life. However, I was fortunate enough to find the right people to co-found the first escape game startup and experience the early stages of this worldwide phenomenon, known as “live escape games.”
HintHunt, as a bold startup began operating in 2012, starting in London and eventually expanding to Cape Town, Paris, Dubai, Moscow, Vienna, and many other locations. It was a wild ride. After a slow start and modest beginnings, success came too quickly, and the pressure to build the franchise became overwhelming, testing our limits as co-founders, owners, and friends.
I took on several roles during this venture, starting with the co-founder’s eager jack-of-all-trades approach, then moving through different management roles, and finally finding my place in art direction. In 2016, for personal reasons (my wife was diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy) I exited the company before its fruition. The franchise network later fell apart, but some of the partners are still operating independently in 2023, such as those in France, South Africa or Canada.
FOUNDERS – SEED PHASE
Csaba Vinkler, Roland & Istvan Rusvai, Mihaly Perge, Atti Nagy
FOUNDERS – AFTER INVESTMENT
Laszlo Budai, Csaba Vinkler, Atti Nagy
Finext Startup Zrt. (now FUTUREAL Group)
TIMe & SPACE
2012 – 2016
- Budapest, Hungary – Development HQ
- London, UK – Flagship Operation
- Franchise Locations in Paris, Dubai, Cape Town, Dubai, Moscow, Vienna and more