Glu Mobile, a prolific publisher best known for its mobile adaptations of popular franchises such as Call of Duty, has signed a two year agreement with Full Fathom Five, the publishing company of controversial bestselling author James Frey. The agreement will see Frey creating a minimum of four original story ideas over the course of the two years, with Glu and Full Fathom Five collaborating to bring the ideas to various forms of media including novels and mobile games.
According to Niccolo de Masi, CEO of Glu, "properties will begin as novels and games on smartphones and tablets, with potential expansions for the most successful creations into television and film." If successful, this will be one of the most ambitious transmedia collaborations there has yet been.
James Frey is notorious for his partly-fictitious "autobiography" A Million Little Pieces, in which he "embellished" the truth somewhat when it came to discussions of his struggle with drug addiction and criminal record. The book was scrutinized by the press and determined to be untruthful, with the investigations culminating in a confrontation with Oprah Winfrey on TV in 2006. Since that time, Winfrey and Frey have apparently settled their differences, but Frey's publishing company Full Fathom Five has been no stranger to controversy, with the company attracting criticism for its restrictive contracts and alleged exploitation of desperate arts students to "churn out" young adult books.
Controversy aside, Frey is excited about the possibilities the new collaboration offers. "I'm thrilled to be working with Glu, an incredible company that makes incredible games," he says. "Partnerships like this one are going to be a big part of the future of storytelling and gaming."
As the large mainstream publishers have demonstrated in the past with titles such as Bulletstorm, controversy is good for business. It remains to be seen whether the new partnership between Glu and Frey will attract attention for the right or the wrong reasons.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Glu Partners with James Frey