Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 25th July 2015
An events firm that has been organising zombie-themed chase games in cities around the UK for the past several years has entered liquidation after failing to balance its finances.
Trading until this week as Slingshot Effect Ltd, the business estimates that some 50,000 people have participated in its real world zombie chase events throughout the country but all its operations are now being shut down.
In a statement on their Facebook page, the ‘2.8 Hours Later’ organisers explain that they have struggled to absorb rising costs associated with their events, with high insurance premiums cited as a particularly burdensome cost for the business.
As well as rising expenditure, Slingshot’s founders pointed to falling participation levels and a basic inability to generate profits consistently as key reasons for their company having to cease trading and enter liquidation.
“2.8 has been a labour of love. So in all the other years we’ve run it, we’ve not actually charged enough to make any profit,” Slingshot’s founders wrote in a candid social media post on July 24th.
“We have seen a massive tail off in sales. As an attempt to limit our losses we were forced to cancel games in entire cities like Leeds and Sheffield. But in the end this just destroyed our cash flow and we have been unable to meet our financial commitments,” they wrote.
Prior to the company becoming insolvent, its cancelled events and promises of ticket refunds were met with cynicism as critical remarks were posted online by some unhappy customers.
“Liverpool 2015 cancelled and promised a refund for volunteering as a zombie. Despite several promises and lots of emails I still have not had my £45 back. So beware as there seem a lot of false promises here,” one disappointed customer wrote recently on 2.8 Hours Later’s Facebook wall.
However, Slingshot’s founders were met with warm words of encouragement and gratitude from former zombie event participants when news of their company’s liquidation was publicly announced.
“Really sorry to hear this, the games were awesome, don’t give up, you can’t keep something this good down,” wrote one commenter.
“I’m very sorry to hear this. A great creative and brave venture. I hope that you both find a new project soon,” added another.
Nonetheless, there has also been a good deal of dissatisfaction and frustration among some Facebook users who have apparently already booked tickets for zombie-themed events organised by the company that were scheduled for later this year.
It isn’t clear whether refunds will now be issued to would-be game players as the company looks to repay its creditors upon liquidation.