Amazon Alexa Games Skill Challenge Winners Announced for Europe

Graphic Credit: Amazon

Recently, the Alexa Games Skill Challenger winners for Europe were announced. There were two grand prize winners and five bonus winners, winning €10,000 and €2,500 respectively. Word Mine and Der Eiserne Falke are the two Grand Prize winners. Word Mine is an anagram game, where a canary companion will help users find letters necessary to master the mine. Der Eiserne Falke is a German interactive story, and users play as the former soldier Sardak. Sardak is trying to save the kingdom of Rivaan from its downfall, however, is ensnared in unexpected adventures along the way.

The bonus winners included those who were nominated for the grand prize and were each given a category win as well as €2,500. The categories mainly covered a ‘best of’ series: best voice adaption of a game, best game skill for Echo Show and Echo Spot, best game skill for kids, and best-localized game skill. The remaining bonus winner was reserved for the customer’s choice of most engaging game skill.

Judges rated all skills based on their creativity and originality, the voice-first user experience, technical implementation, as well as customer feedback and usage. Experts in games, voice technology, and skill development rated the skills. Judges included Markus Schwerdtel, Co-chief editor of game magazine GameStar, Liam Sorta, Alexa Champion and Technical Evangelist at Unity Technologies, Tim Kahle, Alexa Champion and CEO of 169 Labs, and Fabrice Rousseau, General Manager Europe Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service were the judges.

The Alexa Skills Challenge for Games was limited to developers in Europe with residence in Austria, Germany, Ireland, or the United Kingdom. Eligible developers had to submit their game in German or English to the Alexa Skills Store on or by October 17, 2018.

Will Voice Games Competitions Maintain Amazon’s Market Share Lead?

Amazon’s strategy to create challenges for developers is smart in theory because providing competitive incentives for developers to build Alexa skills should increase the number of high-quality options for consumers. Developers have the incentive of winning a cash prize and also media coverage which can significantly aid in consumer discovery of their skill. Even more important, Amazon often promotes winning skills which an Alexa skill developer tells Voicebot typically means about 6,000 new users per day during the promotion period.

Amazon hopes these efforts will spur both Alexa adoption and use. However, it is not clear that games are a draw for new users. They may instead have more impact by offering new engagement options for existing customers. Voicebot’s Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report 2018 found that the inclusion of games was not an important voice assistant quality for consumers deciding whether to use one of the services. Only 1 in 40 consumers stated that they considered games to be an important decision factor. “How well it understands me…” was deemed to be the most important factor when determining a voice assistant preference by a wide margin, selected by 53.1%. While Amazon has invested heavily in promoting voice game development, the impact on Alexa adoption is unclear.

Other voice assistants have also implemented developer challenges. Google’s first Actions on Google Developer Challenge was held in 2017, with the winners announced in January 2018. The second Actions on Google Developer Challenge is currently underway. In September, Samsung announced the launch of a Bixby SDK and API to enable capsule (i.e. voice app) development. Rober Kibbe won the event with his recycling capsule for Bixby. All of the winning entries are expected to be available to Galaxy Note 9 users in early 2019.


You can learn more about consumer preferences and perspectives on voice assistants across smartphones, cars, appliances and smart speakers in the Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report

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