Gaming brainiac, and one-time Kotaku Editor fill-in, Ian Bogost points out that Scholastic, now in deep withdrawls from the Harry Potter series, has been casting about looking for new was to make billions of dollars. Their latest idea? A series called The 39 Clues which will feature ten books and be written by different authors including Gordon Korman and Rock Riordan.
The series seems to hint at the fact that it will include mention of video games and in fact have flash-based video game tie-ins.
An online game will allow readers to search for the 39 clues themselves, while solving puzzles and playing mini-games that will be refreshed daily. Mr. Levithan said the site would include blogs written from the points of view of characters, and maps, treasure hunts and videos, many with historical and geographical content.
Each book will come with six collectors' cards that can be used to find further clues in the online game. Players can also win cash and other prizes.
The publisher hopes that reluctant readers will be drawn to the books by the game. "Reading the books will make you better at the games, so that is the incentive," said Suzanne Murphy, publisher of Scholastic's trade division.
More interesting, though, is Scholastic's seeming disapproval of an author (and maybe a developer) retaining the rights to their hard work:
The series is also Scholastic's attempt to create a branded franchise for which it owns all the rights. Ms. Rowling retained the rights to the Harry Potter series, which meant that she could pursue separate deals for film and other licensed products, effectively cutting out Scholastic.
Damn Rowling and her clingy desire to own the product of the life time of work, damn her to hell.
Scholastic Defiles Self, World with Game-Book Tie-ins [Watercooler Games]