Home » Copyright/Intellectual Property, YA » ‘World first’ virtual reality deal struck for YA trilogy

‘World first’ virtual reality deal struck for YA trilogy

24 October 2016

From The Bookseller:

Interactive entertainment company To Play For has acquired virtual reality (VR) rights to the Fallow Trilogy by Amy Lankester-Owen, in the first deal for the books.

Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency called the deal “a world first, where a book series has been licensed specifically for a VR production”. To Play For will adapt the text to enable users to see directly into the minds of protagonists Lori and Rem.

. . . .

“Amy’s series has exactly the sort of characters and story worlds that we are looking to develop interactively. The books’ ‘mind-fusing’ is a perfect match for VR technology.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

Copyright/Intellectual Property, YA

20 Comments to “‘World first’ virtual reality deal struck for YA trilogy”

  1. I’ve read the article. I’ve searched for the author and the title of the first book on Amazon. Nothing. I’ve googled the author’s name and still can’t find any mention of the books.

    All I can find is the author’s twitter feed which says

    Author of YA/SF crossover fiction

    What fiction? Can anyone find any? Did my google-fu let me down? I might be interested in reading this series

    • It’s just PR fluff anyway as those ‘interactive ebooks’ trad-pub thought would save them.

      You know it’s bad when they couldn’t get any ‘real’ writer to sign up for this dog’s breakfast.

      • Second pick on goggles:

        “Author of YA/SF crossover fiction, teacher of creative writing to 10 y/os, interested in brains, salvage yards and what comes next.”

        But yeah, funny the ‘books’ don’t crop up — unless they’re only in the minds of her 10 y/os heads!

  2. About the only thing one could assume is that these books aren’t otherwise published yet.

    Another IP right to be argued over I suppose.

    • I was wondering if ‘Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency’ was pushing VR as they couldn’t get a publisher to give them any money for their offerings as a regular book.

      Just a desperate agent playing buzzword bingo?

      • Making a VR movie costs a heck of a lot more than publishing a book.

        • Agreed, a ‘movie’ costs more than a ‘book’ to make.

          A 3D movie costs even more, but this is to be ‘VR’. Does that just mean you can watch it from any angle, or can you ‘interact’ with the silly thing?

          Too much ‘hey look — this is special!’ and not enough what it actually is at this point. Next question will be how much ‘gear’ you need to play/watch it.

  3. In the gaming world, the current conversation is whether VR is just a fad coasting on tech demos and novelty:


    The tech isn’t ready for prime time.

    • “The tech isn’t ready for prime time.”

      No, but it’s rapidly improving. For example, six months ago the minimum spec for PC-based VR was about a $1000 PC. Now it’s about a $500 PC.

      The resolution of the current headsets isn’t high enough to be truly convincing, nor is the field of view. But both should improve a lot in the next generation.

      I was playing flight sim games in VR over the weekend. There’s no way I’d go back to playing them on a flat screen after being able to look all around me and hold out my hands to flip switches or move levers.

      I would agree though, about the coasting game devs thing. Most of the VR games right now are basically ‘Oh, look, zombies! Shoot them!’ That gets boring real fast.

      • “Most of the VR games right now are basically ‘Oh, look, zombies! Shoot them!’ That gets boring real fast.”

        Yeah. Now the question is “What kind of so-called ‘book’ would ‘need’ VR? You don’t need VR to watch zombies attack, and if you can’t react (thus changing the plot by how you do when you react) you don’t ‘need’ VR. And if it just has to have VR, we can stop calling it a ‘book’ and start calling it a ‘game’, which makes it a not so new and special thingy.

        As far as the costs, still depends on how fine the on-the-fly rendering that needs to take place. (Low/poor resolution gives me a headache too quickly.)

      • $500 for the PC.
        How much for the headset?

        Also, from what I heard the adoption on VR on Steam is in the fractions of a percent and stagnant over the last six months. PC gamers are hardly falling all over themselves to get on the bandwagon.


        I suppose things might pick up after BETHESDA releases their VR versions of Skyrim and Fallout but neither is exactly a new experience.

        • The PC headsets are about $600, which is about the cost of a mid-range steering wheel or high-end joystick. The PSVR is about $400, and reportedly sold out all over the place.

          As for Skyrim, there’s already a VR mod, and it’s definitely a new experience. As mentioned above, the limiting factor right now is the lack of innovation from VR developers, and the time taken to port non-VR games over.

          • I suspect that the floorspace requirement and limited content availability are also contributors. And the chicken and egg problem is a tough nut to crack for even cheap platforms…

            I remain bearish on this tech.

            • I think part of the problem is that too many people are looking at VR as a gaming peripheral, as though they haven’t even thought about why Facebook would want to spend $2,000,000,000 to buy a VR company.

              VR in gaming is really just a fancy monitor. VR + Internet + Drones is a game-changer… for pretty much everything.

              • VR + internet + drone = teleprescence.
                Powerful mojo, big bucks to be made.

                But that’s not a storytelling/entertainment venue.

                • Digital theme park. Think Facebook+WestWorld without pesky hardware costs. Most of the characters you interact with are avatars of other natural humans, some will be chatbots. Some will be programmed on specific portrayals by specific actors. Sometimes there will be plot-driving broadcast events that your character can witness-be a part of (for real money or as an earned achievement.) Think participatory Game of Thrones. Probably everybody who is old/ugly/not perfect will be played by chatbots…the legal issues are going to be interesting too, from IP issues to free speech to harassment to privacy rights…

                • @ MKS

                  I’ll buy that for a dollar, but none of that has anything to do with a ‘book’ — unless it’s a matrix rehash. 😉

                • The headsets have one near-term productive use: vision enhancement.


                • It may sound bizarre, but with my slowly degrading eyesight over the years, one of the best ways to read ebooks now is on a virtual destkop in a VR headset. It’s focused at least a couple of metres away, so I can see it easily when I couldn’t read so well on my computer screen without putting my glasses on.

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