HBO calls on Alexa for 'Westworld' voice game
- HBO is gearing up for this weekend's season 2 finale of sci-fi drama "Westworld" with its first voice skill for Amazon Alexa. "Westworld: The Maze" leads players through "choose-your-own-adventure" levels with more than 60 storylines and 400 game choices based on trivia of the show's universe, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer.
- "The Maze" has more than two hours of unique gameplay, and can take about 20 minutes to complete for players that make it to the center of the maze.
- HBO developed the game with Kilter Films, the production team behind the show, and advertising agency 360i.
HBO's hit show "Westworld" is well-suited for an interactive voice platform like Alexa. The show explores how entertainment will evolve with the advent of the robot era, while also delving into the possibilities of machine consciousness. The lifelike interactions that digital assistants like Alexa offer with voice commands may become a core way that people one day interact with machines.
As consumers' content consumption habits become increasingly multichannel, the TV network's experiment with the "Westworld" voice-powered game shows the growing importance of voice platforms as a creative tool to engage audiences around a certain topic or product. HBO's decision to roll out the game was likely driven by a potentially lucrative bet that loyal "Westworld" fans are eager to get their hands on more features surrounding the hit series as they await the final episode of season 2. Mobile gaming authorities predict a surge of marketers tapping the trend as a way to grow awareness, engagement and recall around TV shows, particularly between seasons of massively popular series.
This isn't the first time Hollywood studios have created promotions on smart speakers for a show. Warner Bros. and DC Comics collaborated with Amazon on a "Batman" audio adventure in 2016. Fox also promoted the reboot of "24" by bringing the trademark ticking-clock sound of the show to Amazon's Echo smart speakers and Alexa in early 2017.
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