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January 31, 2013

French Entertainment Tech Company Byook Adds Gaming Elements to EBooks

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

If you love graphic novels, movies, and games, you might want to sit down as you read this: a company in France has created a product that incorporates all of these into one, and it’s called a Byook.

The company goes by the same name, Byook, and was founded in 2009 by three associates from the video game industry and digital entertainment spheres. As the company’s website states, “It’s our goal to foster a widespread appreciation of enriched reading adventures.”

Byook is a completely new reading experience, designed for smartphone and tablet usage, which incorporates animation, graphics and sound effects into the ebook for a more engaging and multi-layered read.

The offerings may be scant now, but new Byooks are coming out every day, and already the company offers popular choices such as “Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band,” “Little Fear” by Miguel Vargas, and YA bestseller “Tara Duncan” by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian.

The added elements Byook offers include sound effects when a Byook’s page is turned, and each Byook is customized with different elements that pertain to that story.

The Byook is heavily influenced by video games, which blends the line between reading and gameplay.

“Byooks are one of the outcomes of several years of researches in multimedia reading and interactive narration,” the site explains. “With rich, moving and deeply innovative experiences, we aspire to introduce a true revolution in our reading habits.”

This revolution comes in many forms--for example, with Artbyooks there are embedded art and cinema features, which a reader can only clear by finishing the entire Byook. This element makes finishing the Byook the goal, and clearing the steps to reach it, much like a game.

Other features included in some Byooks are the ability to change the dress or appearance of a character in the Dress Room, or connectivity to Facebook (News - Alert) option. 

Manea Castet, creative director of Byook, said of his product: “We are outrageous fans of books and video games, and we wanted to move what we schooled from games to books.”

Castet also said that while the Byook may be the namesake product of the company, it is not the only project Byook has planned.

“Byooks are only a tip of an iceberg for what we have designed for reading,” said Castet.

Currently Byooks are priced between $1.99 and $2.99 per Byook, available at

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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