Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has become a pillar of the science-fiction film genre over the last decade, but Abrams’ production company Bad Robot is looking to expand into another medium: video games.
Bad Robot Games is a new division of Bad Robot formed in partnership with Tencent, the enormous gaming publisher responsible for PUBG Mobile and the Chinese releases of several other major titles. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will also join as a “minority investor,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” Abrams said in a statement. “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 in our developer partners.”
Bad Robot Games will be led by Dave Baronoff, who has worked on previous Bad Robot game adaptations like Cloverfield, with A Virus Named Tom and Duskers creator Tim Keenan serving as creative director. Keenan appears to have joined the company nearly a year ago, so its first project could be further along than the announcement indicated.
It isn’t clear what Bad Robot Games’ first title will be, but the studio will work on both large and small games for consoles, PC, and mobile.
Abrams’ work — particularly the film Super 8 — has often been compared to that of Steven Spielberg, and with Bad Robot Games, Abrams entering territory the legendary director has some experience with. DreamWorks Interactive was founded by Spielberg in the ’90s and released the original Medal of Honor to critical acclaim before being acquired by Electronic Arts. It has undergone a few name changes and is now called Dice Los Angeles.
Prior to forming Bad Robot Games, J.J. Abrams had been in talks with Valve to develop films based on the company’s game properties. Valve CEO expressed interest in Portal or Half-Life movies back in 2013, and Abrams confirmed both films were in development in an interview with IGN back in 2016.