Nolan Bushnell and Zai Ortiz of X2 Games Deliver Keynote Speech at The Global Alexa Conference 2019
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES CORP. (CSE: BLOC.U) (FSE: BWSP) (OTC Pink: BLKCF) ("BLOC", or the "Company") provides a snapshot of X2 Games Corp.’s (“X2 Games”), a wholly owned subsidiary, keynote speech at the Global Alexa Conference 2019.
At the Global Alexa Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nolan Bushnell, CEO of X2 Games and founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s delivered a keynote speech before 500+ attendees highlighting the role that immersive technology will play in future game development and explained the processes behind the creation of X2 Games’ first product, St. Noire. At the end of the conference, X2 Games was honored with the Best-In-Show Gold Award.
Together with Zai Ortiz, the President, Co-Founder, and Chief Creative Officer of X2 Games, Bushnell made a presentation titled “Alexa and Entertainment: Alexa’s Ground-Breaking Opportunity”.
Bushnell and Ortiz used the conference to explain the background behind X2 Games’ latest production, St. Noire; an interactive board game in which the player takes part in a murder mystery. Alexa describes St. Noire as a “voice-activated murder mystery game that challenges you to solve a murder by interviewing a full cast of characters, using Me”.
“You can look at games like Pong as being clear to the left, and movies being clear to the right,” Bushnell explained. “There’s a whole page in between that’s part game, part narrative, part movie. We think there’s a very vacant area that we can fill with some of the weirdest stuff you’ve ever seen.”
Moving forward, Ortiz hopes to create experiences that are even more immersive. He points to Bandersnatch, the interactive episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror, as evidence that people are excited about the potential for these kinds of experiences and says that using your voice makes for controls that are more natural than holding a remote. “Right now, the Amazon Echo is a powerful device that has what I call the bones to create on top of,” he said. “And that’s what I really like.”
Speech given by Bushnell and Ortiz is already being recognized in the press; the prominent CNET Magazine has already featured X2 Games, which can be accessed here. The website boasted 169.5 million visits in December 2018, making it the 277th-most-visited website in the world in that month. Within the technology news sector, it was the most visited in the world for that same period. 1
In his speech, Bushnell extolled creativity and innovation in game design. “I’ve always liked to do things a little weird,” he said. “It seems like trying to do new things is really hard.” Bushnell, a veteran of the video games industry, sees the future of gaming in AI-led developments.
Nolan Bushnell, the CEO of X2 Games, previously founded Atari Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre chain, sold for $1.3 billion USD in 2014 to Apollo Global Management. The British Academy of Film and Television awarded Bushnell their Academy Fellowship. He was named one of Newsweek’s “50 People Who Changed America” and was one of the first inductees into the Video Game Hall of Fame. Zai Ortiz is a visual effects expert who has worked on films such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tron: Legacy, and Iron Man.
The Alexa Conference
The Alexa Conference took place 15-17 January 2019, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The worldwide gathering of the Alexa development community brought together executives, developers, entrepreneurs, strategists, and marketers – all the roles involved in conceiving and creating the voice experiences. Amazon was the 2019 Platinum Sponsor (as well as a presenter) of The Alexa Conference. Some of the companies sponsoring or presenting included: LEGO, Magic & Company, EPB Fiber Optics, Applause, Novel Effect, and Audioburst.
The Conference featured The Alexa World Fair, the first exhibit hall dedicated to Alexa-oriented products, and The Alexa Awards, the largest awards program for Alexa development and businesses, which honors some of the innovators and pioneers within the community.
Bradley Metrock, Executive Producer of The Alexa Conference, said “The Alexa Conference is driving voice innovation forward, along with associated areas like AI, machine learning, smart speakers and more.”
X2 Games has announced plans to release six new voice-controlled, Alexa-centric games in 2019. The first of these will be St. Noire, and will arrive exclusively on Amazon by March. Along with St. Noire, X2 has five other games slated for release in 2019 – some for children, some for families, and some for adults.
As the first immersive Alexa board game, St. Noire features voice acting and immersive sound design. Users will use a board and cards to play, in addition to Alexa.
An unlimited number of players can take part, and participants use Alexa to interview suspects and witnesses (who have the ability to lie to players) to explore six main storylines, all searching for the murderer in the mysterious town of St. Noire. The game is randomized each run-through, and a built-in timer limits the time that players have to discover the murderer’s identity. A full play through is estimated to take between fifteen and thirty minutes.
St. Noire was developed in collaboration with the Alexa Games team, who provided access to engineering and game testing resources.
The game is expected to be released in early 2019, and is projected to retail at between $30 and $40.
The Gaming Market
In 2018, the global gaming market was estimated to be worth $137.9 billion USD. By 2021 that is expected to increase to $180.1 billion USD. 2
It is estimated that by 2019, almost half of American households, approximately 60 million, will own a smart speaker.3 In a survey of users of AI speakers, 25% said that they use AI-powered speakers to play games, and 65% said that they would not go back to life without a smart speaker. 81% said that they were open to new skills and features being introduced to their speakers.4
About X2 Games
X2 Games is a developer and publisher of games integrating AI, smart speakers, and interactive TV into its gameplay. X2 Games was acquired by BLOC on December 17, 2018.
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Released January 21, 2019