Google’s Niantic Labs teams up with James Frey to create ENDGAME AR game
Yesterday Google’s Niantic Labs announced that they would team up with James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton in order to create an augmented reality mobile game based on the ENDGAME trilogy.
For those unaware, ENDGAME is a fully integrated multimedia experience that will combine a trilogy of novels, fifteen original e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media, and yes, even interactive gaming into one huge creative project. Each book will feature an interactive puzzle comprised of clues and riddles in the text, with each puzzle having a major prize at stake.
ENDGAME: THE CALLING, which is the first book in the series, will put up a quantity of gold on public display in a bulletproof case. Once somebody has successfully solved the puzzle and found the key, the gold can be claimed. This event will be broadcast live on YouTube.
Perhaps in order to allow everybody in the world to participate, ENDGAME will be released simultaneously around the world in over 30 languages, including Japanese, French, German, and Italian.
James Frey stated, “I’m thrilled to be working with HarperCollins, 20th Century Fox, and Google Niantic on the ENDGAME series. We’re doing something really amazing, really new, something readers are going to love. The whole project is a dream come true, and as far as I’m concerned, October can’t come soon enough.”
The ENDGAME series will also be turned into movies, with the films being produced by Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, the producers who were behind the Twilight Saga and the upcoming Fox adaptation of the bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars.
After 20th Century Fox won the bid for the ENDGAME series, Emma Watts, President of Production at the company, stated, “ENDGAME is an innovative omni-platform endeavor, and we at 20th Century Fox are thrilled and committed to work with HarperCollins, and Google Niantic Labs to bring James Frey’s groundbreaking franchise to audiences around the world.”
The AR game that Niantic Labs is developing will be a location-based augmented reality game. This game, which builds on the success of Ingress (a title which defined a new category of entertainment that merged video games with the physical world), allows players all around the world to join in the battle to unlock all of the mysteries and secrets of ENDGAME. In addition, Niantic will be distributing six ENDGAME novellas exclusively on their Google Play Store, with the game expected to launch on Android and iOS in late 2014.
John Hanke, VP of Product at Niantic Labs stated, “James has a great vision for telling stories in an integrated way across books, film, social media, and mobile games. We are delighted to bring our technology and expertise to bear on a project that is helping to define the future of entertainment.”
What are your thoughts on this massive project?