Sensible Object, the London-based company known for Beasts of Balance, has raised $3.2 million to research and develop board game experiences that utilise Amazon Alexa.
The company has reportedly outlined its plans to make its toolkit for creating board games with virtual assistants like Alexa available for third party developers.
Sensible Object is currently developing When in Rome, a voice augmented trivia board game which integrates Alexa for several features like sound effects, keeping track of progress and teaching players the rules of the game.
It also introduces players to locals in cities around the world through trivia questions. A new package of characters and content will be available for download later this year, taking adults into the nightlife of the cities featured in the game.
Sensible Object is also working on music licensing for the game with local artists.
Investors in the $3.2 million round include London Venture Partners, NCSOFT, March Capital and Alexa Fund – a $200 million initiative by Amazon to support promising start-ups that are growing the ecosystem of products and services with virtual assistants.
When in Rome is the first in a series of board games – called Voice Originals – to come from Sensible Object and place a smart speaker at the center of the experience. Three additional Voice Originals will be released in 2019.
While the initial Voice Originals will be made by Sensible Object, the company plans to make its toolkit for creating board gams with virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant available to third-party creatives.
“One of the uses of invested capital is to kind of keep building out those tools,” said Alex Fleetwood, CEO of Sensible Object.
“We are really excited about this because it plays into a strategy for Sensible Object of unbundling the box game.”