Niantic Labs to Release New Augmented Reality Game


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Just over one year ago Google's Niantic Labs revealed Ingress, an augmented reality (AR) game created to experiment with the possibilities of a multiplayer game set in the real world but with a layer of virtual game poured over it. Though the game wasn't a smash hit it did open up possibilities for AR and mobile gaming. Now, Niantic Labs is involved in another AR game project.

Titled Endgame, the new AR game is a collaborative marketing effort surrounding the upcoming novel Endgame: The Calling. The novel is being written by James Frey, the author infamous for exaggerating his exploits in his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. The book is the first in a trilogy to be penned by Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton.

HarperCollins Publishers, Full Fathom Five, and Niantic Labs are all collaborating on the marketing effort behind Endgame. The campaign will use Niantic's AR game, short stories, YouTube, search, maps, and social media in a single augmented reality game/puzzle complete with prizes.

Clues to the puzzles will be hidden in the Endgame novels and players will need to gather all of the clues to have a chance at winning what HarperCollins is calling "major" prizes for each book. The prize for Endgame: The Calling is a "quantity of gold" that one player will have the chance to retrieve. The player who first finds the key for the gold's case will claim his or her prize live on YouTube.

"James has a great vision for telling stories in an integrated way across books, film, social media, and mobile games," said John Hanke, VP of Product at Niantic. "We are delighted to bring our technology and expertise to bear on a project that is helping to define the future of entertainment."