Falcon’s Beyond Looks Back over a Successful 2023!
Daryl White, Executive Vice President of Global Licensing and Business Development at Falcon’s Beyond
What were some of the big moments and milestones for Falcon’s Beyond in 2023 that you are most proud of?
This year, the company saw extensive global growth. Most notably, of course, we achieved a major milestone by becoming a publicly listed company on Nasdaq, listed under the symbol “FBYD.” We also opened Katmandu Park in Punta Cana, a new theme park featuring cutting-edge, first-of-its-kind rides and attractions that immerse guests in the company’s original franchise, The Hidden Realms of Katmandu™. Outside of location-based entertainment, we debuted our first mobile game, Katmandu: EtherMerge™; and made our debut as a developer on the Roblox platform with BEYONDLAND™, which since its creation has garnered millions of visits.
This year, Falcon’s also made efforts to introduce and grow new IP. For example, we announced the debut project from our joint venture partnership with Raging Power Limited, an arm of K11 Group based in Hong Kong. Through the JV, we are collaborating to develop and launch new entertainment franchises and LBE attractions across China. The first will be Vquarium™, a groundbreaking ocean adventure-themed experience designed to be a new breed of location-based “retailtainment,” set to debut at Hong Kong’s iconic 11 SKIES development in 2025.
Overall, we saw a lot of incredible work come to fruition in 2023, and it was a year I think our company can be extremely proud of.
How does being publicly listed on Nasdaq change things for Falcon’s?
Becoming a publicly traded company was an important step for us because it provides the resources needed to continue to scale globally, build out our brick-and-mortar experiential entertainment operations, and enhance our technology and proprietary content.
We are excited to now be a public company. We endeavor to accelerate the growth of our global entertainment enterprise where original ideas – fueled by passion and guided by extraordinary vision – take flight and accelerate at speeds beyond imagination.
What is ahead for the company in 2024?
As we look to 2024, our mission stays the same: to connect the world by bringing stories to life through theme parks, animation, consumer products, gaming, movies and beyond. In the past year, we achieved multiple milestones to support this mission, as mentioned, and we anticipate more success in the year to come. Through our own proprietary and partner IPs, we are constantly looking to immerse consumers in compelling stories in a cohesive, innovative manner, and through multiple touchpoints. While we will have more specifics to share in the future, that core idea is what drives us.
How did the licensing industry evolve in 2023? What do you expect next year and beyond?
The biggest evolution we’ve seen in the last year isn’t confined to just the licensing industry, but it is having a major impact on it: the explosion of LBEs. The experience economy is booming, with consumers seeking new adventures and unforgettable moments. This pent-up demand for physical, immersive experiences is rapidly expanding the LBE market, and fueling the development of these destinations all around the world – in entirely new markets. And this growth of LBEs can be a huge accelerant for the licensing industry and building a franchise.
What is your core message to potential licensing partners?
Our core message is that we know how to build IPs into franchises, and how to engage with consumers across all touchpoints. With the rising demand for physical experiences, there is also an increased desire for a more connected experience across many forms of entertainment, hospitality, and tourism, overall. People have become very attached to their favorite IPs and want to experience them in a cohesive way across a variety of platforms, including online and streaming content, video games, LBEs, themed destinations, and consumer products. Falcon’s, through its original Katmandu franchise and other partnerships, is proving it can deliver on this desire.