from VentureBeat

Google’s Niantic Labs embarks on a giant interactive transmedia project with controversial author James Frey


Endgame boomerang

Endgame is going to be a fascinating project in collective storytelling. The project started as Endgame: The Calling, a novel published in October from best-selling (and controversial) author James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton. It is the first of three books.

Before the second novel comes out, Google’s Niantic Labs division will launch its Endgame mobile game. Much like its predecessor, the geo-location game Ingress, Endgame is an alternate-reality game, set in real-world locations as the battlegrounds that 12 factions will fight over. Fans form their own factions based on the Ancient Societies in the Endgame novel. In the book, societies compete with each other to be the one faction that survives the apocalypse. One of a cast of teen characters leads each, and that individual has received training for the moment when they will face their tests.

But here’s the interesting twist. The real-world players and factions affect the outcome of the story. In fact, Frey and Johnson-Shelton will weave the stories of the most active players into the second and third novels, said Jim Stewartson, a member of the Niantic Labs team, in an interview with GamesBeat. Fox, meanwhile, is working on three movies based on the franchise. It’s one of the ultimate “transmedia” projects, or a single entertainment property that crosses multiple media.

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