Google’s Niantic Labs will work with HarperCollins to create an augmented reality game based on the upcoming young adult trilogy Endgame by controversial author James Frey.
Niantic Labs, you may remember, is the team responsible for Ingress. The new Endgame app will be a location-based augmented reality game similar to Ingress. The story, of course, will be based on the trilogy an accompanying media.
Publisher HarperCollins describes Endgame as “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.” To go along with the first book, Endgame: The Calling, an unspecific amount of gold will be put on display in public in a case of bulletproof glass. Players can use the Niantic Labs app and the book to solve puzzles and find a key to unlock the case.
Each of the three main books in the series will have a similar stunt associated with it.
If the name James Frey sounds familiar to you, it might be thanks to I Am Number Four and the rest of the “Lorien Legacies” series of novels and novellas. Or, you may know him as the author of A Million Little Pieces, a memoir that was revealed to be largely fabricated.
Frey also came under fire for using grad students as a cheap means to push out young adult novels through his Full Fathom Five publishing company. He’s accused of paying the MFA students very little money to churn out content for his series such as the “Lorien Legacies” saga. Full Fathom Five is also involved in the production of the Endgame series.
While the app will no doubt be as fun and interesting as Ingress, there’s a lot of baggage associated with the creator of the Endgame series creator. Maybe the fact that 20th Century Fox already optioned the book for a movie will be a boon for Google in getting the app into more people’s hands. For some it will be hard to enjoy the app and the associated game knowing the history of the creator, however.
Will James Frey’s involvement deter you from participating in the Endgame augmented reality game?