‘Alexa, play Dead Island 2’: Amazon’s new game control for players

24 Aug 2022

Image: © Monkey Business/Stock.adobe.com

Amazon said Alexa Game Control will let players perform in-game actions using their voice, with Dead Island 2 set to use the new tech.

Amazon plans to let people play games using their voice with the new Alexa Game Control.

The company said players will be able to use Alexa Game Control to perform in-game actions such as interacting with characters and swapping weapons.

Players will be able to issue voice commands within their game without saying the wake word ‘Alexa’ every time. However, using this wake word will still also give players access to regular Alexa features such as turning on a light in the room.

Users will need a compatible game and an Amazon Account. But Amazon said a Prime membership is not required to use the new tool.

The tech giant said the new game control is built on the same tech that powers the Alexa voice AI. It is designed for PC and console devices, with a plug-in that supports UE4, Unity and C++ game engines.

Amazon added that game developers will be able to easily enable voice gameplay to unlock immersive experiences, improve usability and accessibility, and create innovative new game designs.

Dead Island 2

The new technology was announced at this year’s Gamescom, which had its opening night yesterday (23 August). The event also revealed the first game set to use Alexa Game Control, with the return of the zombie game Dead Island 2.

After years of delays from its initial announcement in 2014, the game now has a release date of 3 February 2023. According to the Alexa Game Control store page, it will work on Xbox and PC versions of the game.

“We are excited to debut Alexa Game Control in Dead Island 2,” said Alexa Games director Steve Bernstein.

“Gamers will enjoy a more immersive gaming experience by using their voice to goad zombies, ask for help, activate special abilities during combat and more, without having to say ‘Alexa’, use an Echo device or purchase any special hardware.”

Plaion Group is the developer and global publisher of Dead Island 2. Its CEO Klemens Kundratitz said the group is committed to building “immersive games” that let people play in different ways.

“This means that people can play games however they want: with physical media, digital editions, controllers and now voice,” Kundratitz added.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic