Matchbox.io and Volley Join Voices
by Modev Staff Writers on March 16, 2022
Matchbox.io, the company behind some of the most popular voice experiences - namely the massively popular 'Question of the Day' voice game - was recently acquired by Volley, the world's leading voice game publisher, in a multi-million dollar deal.
We had the chance to discuss the acquisition with Sarah Andrew Wilson, former Chief Content Officer at Matchbox.io. I say former because the Matchbox brand will disappear, and Sarah and her husband, Joel Wilson, Matchbox.io's founder, will no longer be involved as they look forward to a well-deserved break. Sarah provided some insights into the acquisition, Volley’s future, and Matchbox’s design philosophy.
If the Shoe Fits, Acquire It
It would be difficult to overstate the popularity of 'Question of the Day,' one of the highest-rated voice games on Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant, and Samsung Bixby. Its premise couldn't be simpler: 'Question of the Day' poses a new question every day, from art and entertainment to history and science. As users test their knowledge, they collect points and can earn bonus questions. The game also allows you to learn how other users from around the world answered the 'Question of the Day.' The best things in life are simple.
As Sarah says, "Matchbox was about making people's lives a bit easier and a bit more fun using these voice experiences. And in many of the skills we developed - and this was definitely the case with 'Question of the Day' - the mission was to teach people something new every day. And I think the simple, no-nonsense approach was part of its success."
'Question of the Day''s appeal certainly didn't go unnoticed to the folks at Volley. And Volley isn't exactly a minor player in the voice games market. Since its inception in 2016, Volley has steadily risen to the top of the voice games publisher market. Case in point, Volley even concluded a deal with The Price is Right owner, Fremantle, that brought a voice game version of the game show to its platform just in time to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary. Volley already has some of the world's most popular voice games in its portfolio, so acquiring Matchbox.io just made sense for them - the fit was obvious.
In Volley CEO Max Child's own words, "Matchbox.io's 'Question of the Day' is a beloved, award-winning skill with wide-reaching appeal, making it the perfect addition to our suite of interactive voice games that engage users on a daily basis. Voice gaming is the most vibrant space in voice-controlled apps, and the addition of 'Question of the Day' to the Volley portfolio will provide more entertainment for current customers of both companies."
Bright, Fun, and Vocal Future
Sarah feels good about handing the keys over to Volley. With so many successful titles, she knew it was the right company to take on Matchbox's portfolio and bring their apps to the next level. As she tells us, "Volley will skyrocket. It will be an entertainment network, but with voice. They're headed on an amazing trajectory. They will change voice technology." And she may well be correct.
By 2030, Volley believes we will reach 50 billion voice-controlled devices worldwide. And these devices won't be limited to smart speakers but will include mobile phones, smart displays, voice-controlled televisions, voice-enabled cars, wireless headphones, and even AR glasses. And Volley aims to be the top provider of entertainment in this new ecosystem that stands to be up to ten times the size of mobile.
Ambition is certainly part of success.
Sharing Some Wisdom
As the Matchbox.io adventure comes to an end for Sarah and her husband, she remembers that they laid out the fundamental values they wanted their company to embody when they started. That came down to using voice tech to help people and teach them things in a fun and engaging way. And those values shined through Matchbox's mix of games, wellness, utility, and education apps.
That mindset contributed to Matchbox's success, and naturally, it's also what she offers as advice to up-and-coming voice developers: "Have values behind what you're building, and have integrity in what you're building. That will help you, your project, and your organization. And it will really help the voice industry too!"
Modev was founded in 2008 on the simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. Today, Modev produces market-leading events such as VOICE Global, presented by Google Assistant, VOICE Summit, and the award-winning VOICE Talks internet talk show. Modev staff, better known as "Modevators," include community building and transformation experts worldwide. To learn more about Modev, and the breadth of events offered live and virtually, visit modev.com.