Endgame is Google’s international augmented reality game

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Back in January, Google teamed up with author James Frey to create a project which would combine interactive novels with augmented reality games. That effort was part of Google’s interest in expanding the Ingress AR platform beyond its Niantic Labs, as it looked to share those tools with with third-party developers who could create titles of their own. Today, as part of the launch of Endgame: The Calling, the first from a series of three novels, the partnership between Frey and Google has officially kicked off this type of augmented reality/interactive game.

At its simplest, Endgame: The Calling is a novel about 12 teenagers scattered around the globe, participating in a high-stakes competition with the threat of the apocalypse and near-certain death looming. But the Endgame universe sprawls much further than a single book. Endgame will eventually combine three novels with a host of other material, including shorter novellas, movies, and alternate-reality games (some of which lead to massive cash prizes of real gold) put together by Google’s Niantic Labs. It’s an ambitious, sprawling, potentially messy, potentially engrossing project that could only take place now, in a world where billions of the Earth’s inhabitants carry extremely powerful computers in their pockets everywhere they go.

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