HarperCollins Publishers U.S. and U.K. and Google's Niantic Labs are planning a multi-media program that will incorporate digital novellas, interactive games and live events for Endgame, the upcoming young adult trilogy from authors James Frey (A Million Little Pieces) and Nils Johnson-Shelton.
The total multimedia experience will incorporate three novels, 15 e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media and interactive gaming.
The first book in the trilogy, Endgame: The Calling, which will be published Oct. 7, will launch the interactive project, developed by HarperCollins, Full Fathom Five and Google's Niantic Labs. The Endgame books will be released simultaneously around the world in more than 30 languages.
Each book in the Endgame trilogy will feature an interactive puzzle comprised of clues and riddles throughout the text, with a real prize at stake. For Endgame: The Calling that prize is gold, which will be on public display in a secure, bulletproof glass case. The reader who solves the puzzle will find a key to open the safe, in an event that will broadcast live on YouTube.
"We are excited to work with James Frey and Full Fathom Five (James Frey’s media company) on this groundbreaking series," says Brian Murray, president and chief executive officer, HarperCollins Publishers. "This is a spectacular story that embodies the future of publishing–great content, interactivity and a multimedia experience."
In conjunction with the books, Google Niantic is developing a location-based augmented reality game that will bring the series to life in the real world. The mobile experience, which will launch for Android and iOS devices at the end of this year, 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 in the Google Play store.
"James has a great vision for telling stories in an integrated way across books, film, social media and mobile games," says John Hanke, vice president of product, Niantic Labs, Google. "We are delighted to bring our technology and expertise to bear on a project that is helping to define the future of entertainment."
Finally, Twentieth Century Fox has picked up the theatrical rights to the trilogy and nine interstitial novellas. Frey is writing the script for the first film, which will be produced by the team behind the Twilight Saga.