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By 16 January 2014 | Categories: news

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Augmented reality gaming and multimedia storytelling have just received a gilded shot in the arm from the combined might of publishing company HarperCollins and Google’s Niantic Labs.

The latest announcement is that the duo will produce an interactive, augmented reality project called Endgame: The Calling. This is based on a young adult trilogy by James Frey and The New York Times bestselling author Nils Johnson-Shelton. In case you are inclined to dismiss it, consider this – some serious muscle is already being given to the franchise, with Twentieth Century Fox having picked up the theatrical rights.

As to the project itself though, HarperCollins elaborated that Endgame is being envisioned 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.

Calling codecrackers, readers and players

More specifically, each book in the trilogy will offer an interactive puzzle comprised of clues and riddles throughout the text, with a “major prize” being up for grabs for each book in the trilogy.  

What’s the hook? Well how about this – an (as yet unspecified) quantity of gold will be on public display in a secure bullet-proof glass case. Solving the puzzle will enable that fortunate reader/player to garner a key, with which the gold can be claimed—an event which will be broadcast live on YouTube.

The good news is that the project will be released simultaneously around the world in more than 30 languages. 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.

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

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