HBO Uses Voice To Make 'Westworld' Come Alive

The Challenge

Extend the world of HBO's hit show, "Westworld" by bringing it to life in a game that lets fans inhabit the world much like the characters they follow each week. 

The Execution

"Westworld" tells the story of a Western-themed amusement park inhabited by lifelike robot “hosts.” People come from far and wide -- and pay top dollar -- to experience a world where every human appetite can be indulged. But as the hosts become self-aware, the adventures within the park take a darker turn. 

HBO turned to a medium that combines the oldest form of storytelling with the newest technology: voice. Available on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, "Westworld: The Maze" brings the show’s layered story mapping to the voice platform, where users are led on a quest for consciousness in an immersive game that allows fans to navigate the show’s world right from their couches. 

Users play as an unnamed "Westworld" host, and are guided through “choose-your-own-adventure” style gameplay with questions about the "Westworld" universe, spanning 11,000 lines of script with over 60 storylines and 400 potential choices. 

Within the game’s detailed sound design, anything could be a clue. Fans encounter and interact with the voice talents of 36 actors, including beloved characters Bernard/Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) and Clementine (Angela Sarafyan). The brand leveraged the series’ full sound library for maximum authenticity, production quality, and interactive storytelling, creating a premium experience not replicated in other Voice skills on the market. 

The Results

  • On average, fans spend 14 minutes playing across multiple paths to find the center of The Maze. 
  • Within days of the game being released, "Westworld: The Maze" garnered 1.2 million press impressions, including coverage in Creativity. 
  • Since launch, the game has earned 14 accolades, including Clio Awards and London International Awards. 
  • Amazon recently mentioned Westworld: The Maze on its Earnings Report call, citing it as an exemplary Entertainment skill created for Amazon Alexa.

Key Takeaways

  • Push the boundaries of your top product by looking for other ways consumers can engage with it.
  • Combine age-old forms of communication with the newest forms of communication to create something completely new.
  • Create an entertaining experience so fans can extend their experience with your product and stay engaged.

This campaign was Best in Show and won the Best Use of Smart Speaker App category in MediaPost's 2019 Appy Awards.

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