Activision and developer Bungie surprised fans when it announced the launch of an interactive skill and app for Amazon Alexa in a first-of-its-kind partnership for the game Destiny 2. This partnership comes at a time when an increasing number of brands are exploring the voice platform as a way to engage with audiences. If players take to it, the skill could mark a major milestone for both video games and the Alexa platform, as other developers may look to connect the two.
Using the Ghost skill, players use their voice to interact with the game’s AI assistant Ghost to get details about their progress, equip loadouts, learn about the game’s backstory or connect with friends through Alexa-enabled devices.
“Alexa brings a whole new opportunity for entertainment and gaming to reach people in never-before-seen ways,” Ian Trombetta, vice president of consumer marketing at Activision, told AListDaily. “We have a full array of marketing activity centered around the game as well as the skill and hardware. This will culminate in our inclusion with the Alexa Moments TV campaign later this month. In addition, we have quite a bit of social and digital activity as well as key influencers that we’ll be engaging with throughout our campaign.”
According to Trombetta, the Destiny 2-themed Alexa skill came into being because the developers wanted to offer players new opportunities to experience the game using voice technology, driving deeper engagement with the game. Alexa’s platform provided an authentic opportunity to do that.
“We look for great companion experiences to be deeply personalized, and Ghost is aware of the activities you have completed and the skill level you’re at, updating in real-time and growing alongside your character the more you play,” Trombetta said.
To further engage players, a limited-edition Alexa device in the shape of a Ghost—which is depicted in the game as a small flying mechanical drone—will release on Dec. 19. The skill features over 1,000 lines recorded by actor Nolan North, who voices the Ghost in the game, and players can ask questions, like “what should I do next?”
NPD released sales figures in October showing that Destiny 2 became the bestselling game of 2017 in the weeks after it launched for consoles in September—exceeding first-month sales of its 2014 predecessor. The report came out one day before the game launched for PC, which increased the potential audience size for the free skill even further.
“We’re very excited to see how our Destiny 2 players embrace the new technology and look forward to working with Amazon again in the future if the opportunity arises,” said Trombetta.