J.J. Abrams Says ‘Star Trek’ Game Hurt the Franchise; Talks ‘Portal’ & ‘Half-Life’ Movies

Published 1 year ago by

JJ Abrams Disappointed In Star Trek Game

Star Trek: The Video Game was not very good (read our review). What initially showed promise as the continuing adventures of the Nu-Trek crew, quickly turned out to be nothing more than a half-baked and underwhelming franchise tie-in. Even with the early guidance of the team behind the movies and extensive voice work from the cast, the project turned out to be somewhat of a mess when it hit shelves earlier this year.

As it turns out Star Trek Into Darkness director, J.J. Abrams was also disappointed.

In a video interview with Gamer Hub, Abrams was pretty candid about his opinion on the game that was put together by Digital Extremes. Abrams spoke of his involvement with Star Trek: The Video Game and how it came to be a disappointment to him:

The last game, which was obviously a big disappointment to me, was something that we were actually involved in from the very beginning and then we sort of realised that it was not going in a place where we were going to get what we wanted, so we dropped out and they continued to do it despite… y’know.”

Abrams explained that he had once had high hopes from the game and thought it could have been very beneficial to the franchise, but instead it went south and ended up being “something without question that didn’t help the movie and arguably hurt it.” Abrams is being blunt in the interview but it’s not all that shocking. He is a director who cares deeply for the universe he has helped reboot, and having another group of creatives come in and produce something that he perceives tarnishes that vision, isn’t going to please a Hollywood director too much. He even went as far as to say, “for me emotionally, it hurt.

Star Trek Game Abrams Disappointed

It is refreshing to see a film director come out and show that they genuinely care about the game tie-in for their movie, and Abrams, clearly having a fascination with games, hasn’t been dissuaded from the idea of game and movie interplay. Abrams, along with Gabe Newell, announced a few months ago that Bad Robot and Valve would be looking to adapt some of Valve’s properties to movies.

In the interview, Abrams also outlined his process of taking these properties and transferring them to film.

The dream is — we’re working with Valve right now on a couple of projects — is to say okay, despite its existence as a game, despite its existence as a movie, what makes this great? And starting from scratch, let’s make this from the ground up great, regardless of what’s come before.

Abrams went on to explain that the film needs to exist “on its own terms.” This process seems essential in bringing titles like Portal and Half Life to the big screen. These are films that are intrinsically designed as games and express their stories and locations through gameplay. Getting to the core of what is great about these properties and then building them up from there will be essential to their big screen success, as it may be hard to base a feature length movie around a voiceless protagonist who has little to no personality.

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Follow Patrick Dane on Twitter at @PatrickDane

Source: Gamer Hub (via VG24/7)

TAGS: Digital Extremes, Half Life, Paramount Digital Entertainment, Portal, Star Trek, Valve

10 Comments

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  1. I’d say his watered down, lowest-common denominator film hurt his film numbers. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a video game tie-in having anything to do with the success of the film, JJ.

    • I don’t think that he meant the profits were meaningfully affected because of a weak game. I think he was referring to the broader validity and quality of current Trek as he sees it. Although Ineither love or hate his two Treks, I can see this point making sense. One thing he does is polish his work to a gleaming shine, and that game certainly lacked polish. More development time might not change the quality of the films, but would presumably result in a better game. JJ made the movie he wanted to. The game makers made what their subpar time and budget and talent could cobble together. I can see why that hurts his feelings and diminishes his efforts a bit.

  2. Well what did you expect from a video game based off of a movie?

  3. Oh god, I hope he stays the hell away from both portal and half-life.

    • You mean you hope Damon Lindelof stays away. He wrote Star Trek Into Darkness, AND that POS Prometheus.

    • You can’t be serious. He is one of the most talented Directors in the business right now.

      • Don’t tell that to Joss Whedon.

      • What’s his talent? Making extremely unmemorable movies?

  4. I think the franchise is fine. At this point, I don’t think many people are enticed by movie-tie ins anymore specifically because of how notoriously bad they tend to be. Calm down JJ. Ten two.

  5. The game was deeply flawed, and even a bit of an embarrassment, but it had enough redeeming elements to be worthwhile for a small group of gamers. If you have read Gamerant’s review and still want to know more about it, then click my name to see my thorough review of its few strengths and successes. It may have reduced the Roddennberry-esque vision of a positive future to a barely competent, third person, run and gun co op mess, but it had a handful of things in it that gamers and Trekkies might not want to totally overlook. The new Enterprise finally got a traditional Warp core, and wandering the bridge is pointless but beautiful, so that’s 2 bones they throw the fans…and skydiving through a crumbling Gorn plants is a rush.

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