J.J. Abrams To Launch Bad Robot Games
Director J.J. Abrams is set to launch Bad Robot Games, his first official foray into the gaming world. The newest division of Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions will partner with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Tencent to create multi-platform new titles for an international audience.
Abrams, who will serve as producer for the Portal film, has tabbed David Baronoff to head up the new department. Baronoff currently leads Bad Robot’s Interactive Department, so the transition should be a smooth one. Baronoff served as the producer for 2009’s Star Trek DAC, a moderately reviewed game but an above-average movie tie-in title. He also serves as producer for Spyjinx, billed as “a unique mix of action strategy gameplay, dynamic world building and RPG character development.” The game has been in development since 2013.
The backing of Tencent represents the seriousness of the division’s ambitions. Tencent can essentially print its own money thanks to titles like Rocket League and DoTA. They’re unafraid to court controversy for a paycheck, investing heavily in both Fortnite and PUBG. China has also listed gaming addiction as a disease, which bodes well for pay-to-play titles. Abrams’ films have found great success in China, and when paired with Tencent’s considerable strength and the habits of Chinese gamers, this alliance forms the building blocks for another cash cow.
The division will reportedly focus on making games across all platforms, with titles ranging from AAA-funded behemoths to smaller indie projects. We’ll see if that model continues when sales figures start rolling in, but at the moment it gives me hope. I’ve always felt that Bad Robot’s best work was their earlier story-driven material. Committing to smaller games and developers may yield strong results.
Abrams originally received acclaim with Felicity, but he didn’t become a household name until he dove into sci-fi and adventure. Alias and Lost helped him skyrocket into the zeitgeist, and he’s since been involved in some of the most profitable and recognizable franchises in history. It seems likely that Bad Robot’s games will follow that mold to financial, if not necessarily critical, success.
Do you think Bad Robot’s foray into games will be a successful one? Do you need to upgrade your PC specs to handle all that lens flare? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to follow DFTG on Twitter to stay up to date on this any many other stories!
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).