Known for his role in creating immersive fantasy landscapes in popular film and television, director J.J. Abrams is paving a path into video games. His new studio division, Bad Robot Games, will focus on making or assisting with games on PC, console, and mobile.
Abrams has been recognized for a variety of original TV shows, movies, and reboots of existing franchises. Perhaps most notably, he created the Alias and Lost series, and directed 2009's Star Trek, 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, and 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the latter his highest grossing film and the third highest grossing of all time.
Needless to say, he's a pretty big deal in the movie industry. How that success translates into making successful video games, time will only tell. Fortunately, he isn't steering his film production company into uncharted territory without proper guidance.
Bad Robots' president and COO Brian Weinstein announced today that the company is partnering with Tencent, a digital media and telecom conglomerate that will help finance the young studio. Word is Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is also joining the team as a minority investor but currently, details are fuzzy about what role the studio will take in actually writing, designing, and developing the games.
“Bad Robot Games will team up with traditional game developers to create both large and indie-scale projects," the company explained in a press release. The language certainly left open the opportunity for creative influence, arguing the merits of the company's "world-building and storytelling expertise, in-house creative directors and network of visual artists, musicians, sound designers, writers and other world-class talents."
J.J. Abrams himself weighed in on his newest venture:
"I’m a massive games fan, and increasingly envious of the amazing tools developers get to work with, and the worlds they get to play in. Now we are doubling down on our commitment to the space with a unique co-development approach to game making that allows us to focus on what we do best, and hopefully be a meaningful multiplier to our developer partners. Dave’s creativity, deep passion, and skillful leadership will be incredibly valuable as we harness our partner Tencent’s expertise, experience, and reach to bring our games to audiences around the world."
Abrams' proof of his love for games is apparent, as this isn't the first time the Bad Robot name has been associated with a video game. In fact, Abrams has been in collaboration with Epic Games and video game creator ChAIR for some time now, working on an elusive, upcoming action/RPG titled Spyjinx. Further, the company was involved in development of the Pass Time mode in Team Fortress 2.