Future Play: Scaling Up Interactive Experiences
Delivering Game-Changing Immersion
Scaling Up Interactive Experiences
Founder & CEO of Level99 & the 5 Wits Companies
Looking backward and looking forward, let’s explore ways to break the mold – moving beyond current traditional escape room experiences, thinking to the future of location-based, social play. Let’s build games that don’t have a genre description yet.
After completing his bachelors in mechanical engineering at MIT, Matt went to work in Florida managing specialty design/ build projects for major theme parks, museums, and aquariums. Returning to Massachusetts to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School, Matt raised private financing and founded 5 Wits, arguably the first “escape room” style attraction worldwide, which first opened in Boston in 2004.
For the last eighteen years, 5 Wits has designed, built, and operated award-winning walk-through “adventures” like Tomb, Espionage, Drago’s Castle, and Deep Space, in five states, enjoyed by many millions of guests.
In 2006, Matt formed a second company, Box Fort Inc., in order to pursue a wide range of design/ build work for third party clients, in addition to 5 Wits’ own public venues. The team at Box Fort has done concept development, detailed design, quality fabrication, and controls integration for exhibits, attractions, and interactive experiences for a variety of public venues, such as the Smithsonian, Blue Man Group, Walt Disney Imagineering, and dozens of science and children’s museums.
In 2018, Matt raised 8-figure funding to launch his newest project, Level99, designed to bring challenge-based physical and mental entertainment experiences up to a new level, with the prototype location opened in Natick MA in June 2021. Just recently, Level99 acquired Box Fort to increase its in-house design/ build capability, as Level99 seeks to expand in the years ahead. (And Level99 is seeking amazing applicants for design, engineering, software, and management roles now!)
In addition to his work, Matt teaches a couple of design classes in the mechanical engineering department at MIT. And most importantly, Matt and his wife Beth live in Foxboro, MA with their three wonderful children.