Google’s new augmented reality game aims to take over your life

Google Endgame Augmented Reality

Google’s Niantic Labs — the same labs that brought you the augmented reality game Ingress — has teamed up with publisher HarperCollins to create another location-based augmented reality game. The game will accompany James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton’s new Endgame book trilogy.

The first book in the trilogy, Endgame: The Calling, will be released this October 7th. The whole Endgame series will be part of a “cross-media project” that includes extra e-book novellas (six of which will be exclusive to the Google Play store), YouTube videos, search results, mapping coordinates, social media, and an interactive puzzle.

Each book will also feature a prize for the first person to finish the interactive puzzle. For Endgame: The Calling, the prize is an unspecified amount of gold that will be on public display in a bullet-proof glass case. Once the puzzle is solved, a key can be used to open the case, which will live-streamed on YouTube.

Google is not releasing much information about the app, but it will presumably be a part of the interactive puzzle. The app sounds like it will be similar to Ingress, which connected users and their smartphones to the physical world. However, unlike Ingress, the app will be available for both iOS and Android devices.

HarperCollins’ press release follows below:

HarperCollins, Google’s Niantic Labs, 20th Century Fox Collaborate With Bestselling Author James Frey On Next Generation Cross-Media Project, ENDGAME

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — HarperCollins Publishers US and UK announced today that it has acquired English language rights in their respective territories to  ENDGAME , a young adult trilogy by international bestselling author James Frey and New York Times bestselling author Nils Johnson-Shelton, while Twentieth Century Fox has picked up the theatrical rights. The first book in the trilogy, ENDGAME: THE CALLING , is an engrossing novel at the center of a groundbreaking interactive project launched through a partnership with HarperCollins, Full Fathom Five, and Google’s Niantic Labs. ENDGAME: THE CALLING will be published on October 7th, 2014.

ENDGAME is a fully integrated, multimedia experience that will combine a trilogy of young adult novels, fifteen original e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media, and interactive gaming in one revolutionary creative project. Each book in theENDGAME trilogy will feature an interactive puzzle comprised of clues and riddles throughout the text. A major prize is at stake for each book in the ENDGAME series. For ENDGAME: THE CALLING , a quantity of gold will be on public display in a secure bullet-proof glass case. When the puzzle is solved, a key is found and the gold can be claimed—an event which will be broadcast live on YouTube.

The three-book and nine-digital novella deal was negotiated by Tara Weikum, Vice President, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children’s US and Rachel Denwood, Creative Director for HarperCollins UK, and Eric Simonoff, Co-Head of the William Morris Endeavor Book Department, Simon Trewin, Head of Literary UK at William Morris Endeavor, and David Krintzman of Morris Yorn on behalf of James Frey and Full Fathom Five, the creators of I AM NUMBER FOUR.

ENDGAME will be released simultaneously around the world and in over 30 languages.  Foreign partners include Intrinseca (Brazil), Gallimard Jeunesse/Le Groupe Madrigall (France), Gakken (Japan), Oetinger (Germany) and Salani (Italy).

“We are excited to work with James Frey and Full Fathom Five on this groundbreaking series,” said Brian Murray, President and CEO, HarperCollins Publishers. “This is a spectacular story that embodies the future of publishing—great content, interactivity and a multimedia experience.”

“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,” James Frey said.

Twentieth Century Fox has won the rights to the ENDGAME series of books from James Frey. The deal struck this past weekend encompasses the three books and nine interstitial novellas. Frey is writing the script for the first film. Films will be produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, the producers behind the Twilight Saga and Fox’s upcoming theatrical adaptation of the bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars.

“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,” said Emma Watts, President of Production, 20th Century Fox.

Google’s Niantic Labs is developing a location-based augmented reality game that will bring ENDGAME to life in the real world.  The game builds on the success of “Ingress,” which defined a new category of entertainment that marries video games with the physical world.  The mobile experience will allow players around the world to join in the battle to unlock the mysteries and secrets of ENDGAME .  Google Niantic will also be distributing six ENDGAME novellas exclusively at the Google Play store.  The game is expected to launch on Android and iOS devices in late 2014.

“James has a great vision for telling stories in an integrated way across books, film, social media, and mobile games,” John Hanke, VP of Product, Niantic Labs at Google, said. “We are delighted to bring our technology and expertise to bear on a project that is helping to define the future of entertainment.”

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