Amazon Passes Big Budget Alexa Game Starfinder Management to Swedish Developer Wanderword
Swedish audio entertainment developer Wanderword is taking over the management of the high-profile Alexa game Starfinder from original developers Amazon and Paizo. Wanderword will continue supporting the game and plans to expand the popular space adventure.
Starfinder is an episodic space adventure for Alexa starring the voices of Laura Bailey and Nathan Fillion. Game developer Paizo created Starfinder as a tabletop role-playing game at first but then partnered with Amazon to turn it into an interactive science-fantasy game where the player’s choice of character and the decisions they make during the game change how the story evolves. Each of the current six episodes takes about 90 minutes to complete, varying depending on the player’s choices. The first episode is free, but the whole season costs $10. The game has been available for about a year and a half, picking up two Project Voice awards this year. Wanderword is taking over for Paizo and Amazon after signing a licensing agreement to push the game forward.
“We are proud to be a part of the Starfinder community and are huge fans of both Pathfinder and Starfinder. We will make sure that we honor this great IP and we will support, grow, and keep the community active through a number of actions,” Wanderword CEO Johan Strömberg said. “Wanderword and its founders have worked with interactive audio entertainment since 2012 and we are happy to have been selected by Paizo and Amazon to take this awarded production further.
Starfinder is one of the growing numbers of sophisticated voice games put out as developers get more ambitious. Studios like Earplay are publishing intense audio games like The Orpheus Device, which lets players explore a haunted house and investigate ghosts solely by voice, and Pac-Man Waka Waka, a Pac-Man game with movement controls based on the made-up Wakanese. language. For Starfinder to maintain its prestige, Wanderword will have to stay creative in how it applies Alexa’s voice technology.
“Wanderword’s expertise in interactive audio entertainment for the global mobile and smart speaker market is an excellent partner to take the innovative and award-winning Starfinder Alexa Skill we developed and published with Amazon to an even wider audience,” Paizo vice president Jim Butler said. “With them, we can work to bring it to more users and show what is possible with this evolving technology.”