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Amazon bets big on voice-based games for Echo following early success

by Jacob Kleinman | August 3, 2016August 3, 2016 12:00 pm PST

The Amazon Echo is great for listening to music, controlling your smart home and ordering more products from Amazon, but can it also double as a barebones gaming device? The company is making it easier for developers to create new audio games following the unexpected popularity of a few early titles.

One Alexa skill in particular has been a runaway success since it launched on Echo back in March. The Wayne Investigation was released to promote Batman v Superman and asks the player to solve the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents in a choose-you-own-adventure-style campaign. It was an instant hit and it’s still ranked at #1 for average time spent per user.

The game was developed through a collaboration between Amazon, Warner Bros., and DC Comics. In the process, the group developed a visual decision tree that makes it easy to map out audio-based adventures. Now Amazon is opening up the same tools for any developers interested in creating new audio games for Alexa.

The company also offers a trivia game template for making Jeopardy-style Alexa skills, along with an interactive adventure game creation tool. Look forward to new Echo games thanks to these tools. In the meantime, you can try out Wayne Investigations now if you haven’t already.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...