Google’s augmented reality game Ingress is eyeing a leap to television. I’ve learned that the web giant has teamed with The Sean Daniel Company, which produces Syfy’s upcoming space opera The Expanse, to develop a TV drama series based on Ingress, a game which uses real locations and social media interactivity to bring its 10 million players together in a global sci-fi mystery. This would mark Google’s first foray into television.
The Sean Daniel Co. is meeting with writers and directors on the project, which will be looking to bring an innovative twist to the traditional TV drama genre. Part political thriller, part conspiracy/mystery and part supernatural action, Ingress is set in present day. The story begins when an international team of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland make an unexpected discovery that could change the world. The idea is to craft a TV series that has real-time interplay with the audience that already is engaged, in the game and socially, in a big mystery that spans the globe. That could involve the episodes of the series fitting into the storyline of the game, loading the TV show with interactive elements for real-time play or have the game world/story react to what happens in a TV episode when it airs.
The potential TV series, news of which leaked on tech blog The Information, would draw on the story material generated from the game as well as related novels, comic books and websites. That would give the show a deep mythology to work from in the vein of such TV classics as The X-Files and Lost.
In the realms of the game, bread crumbs in the mystery lead players to uncovering clues across both the Internet and real locations. The basic storyline of the game is that our world is being flooded with XM (Exotic Matter) by extradimensional beings called Shapers via portals. Ingress players — or agents, as they are called — align with one of two factions: Resistance, working against Shapers, or Enlightened, looking to collaborate with them. Google’s game studio Niantic Labs sponsors events, referred to as “anomalies,” where employees playing characters from the story interact with players in real-life locations around the world. One was held in Pasadena this past weekend, with thousands showing up.