HarperCollins will publish a YA trilogy from author James Frey, that will form the centrepiece of an interactive online experience and competition.
Developed with Google's Niantic Labs and Frey's own media and production company, Full Fathom Five, Endgame will combine a trilogy of novels, a series of e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media and interactive gaming.
Each book in the Endgame trilogy, beginning with Endgame: The Calling, will feature a puzzle comprised of clues and riddles in the text. For Endgame: The Calling, a quantity of gold will be put on display in a bullet-proof glass case, and the winner will find a key to unlock the case and claim the gold, an event which will be broadcast live in YouTube.
HarperCollins in the UK and US signed English language rights in their respective territories, in a deal negotiated by Tara Weikum, vice president and editorial director, HarperCollins Children’s US and Rachel Denwood, publishing and creative director for HarperCollins UK, with Eric Simonoff, co-head of the William Morris Endeavor (WME) Book Department, Simon Trewin, head of literary UK at WME, and David Krintzman of Morris Yorn on behalf of James Frey and Full Fathom Five.
Endgame will be released simultaneously around the world in more than 30 languages, with international publishers including Intrinseca in Brazil, Gakken in Japan and Oetinger in Germany. Endgame: The Calling will be released on 7th October 2013.
Twentieth Century Fox has acquired theatrical rights, with Frey writing the first script. The films will be produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, the producers behind the Twilight Sagaand Fox’s upcoming theatrical adaptation of the John Green's bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin).
Deadline reported that the film deal was for $2m (£1.2m), and outlined the basis of the plot, describing a world like our own where there are twelve separate bloodlines, with each training a teenager for battle before a final fight for dominance.
Brian Murray, president and c.e.o. of HarperCollins, said: "We are excited to work with James Frey and Full Fathom Five on this groundbreaking series. This is a spectacular story that embodies the future of publishing - great content, interactivity and a multimedia experience."
Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces (John Murray), said: "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."
Google's Niantic Labs develop augmented reality apps, and will create a game that accompanies Endgame to launch on Android and iOS devices at the end of 2014. Google Niantic will also release six Endgame novellas exclusively through the Google Play store.