Interactive story Black Crown harnesses Failbetter's Storynexus platform

Random House lifts veil on story-driven F2P title

Book publisher Random House has released a new free-to-play story-driven browser title called Black Crown.

Written by debut author Rob Sherman (pictured), who has previously studied a Masters in creative writing at Exeter University, the interactive story centres around a clerk of the Widsith Institute as they uncover the mysteries behind the shady organisation and the Black Crown Project.

The story utilities UK developer Failbetter’s Storynexus platform, which allows developers and authors to create an interactive narrative game based on player choices with specific consequences based on these decisions.

The interactive fiction is free-to-play, with various microtransactions available to unlock new story elements, acquire status and hasten the narrative.

Failbetter and Sherman have said however that readers will not need to make in-game purchases if they do not want to, and will be able to experience the core elements of the story without paying money if they choose to.

The current version of Black Crown has been described as stage one of a longer narrative, with the next phase set to be "three times the length" of the first part.

“Black Crown represents Random House’s ambition to push the boundaries in online storytelling, experiment with new business models and launch a debut author in a groundbreaking way,” said Random House Group digital publisher Dan Franklin.

“Rob Sherman is a superb writer and a rare talent, and I’m delighted to be publishing him in this way.”

Visit the official website for more information.

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