Filmmaker J.J. Abrams’ production company, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Tencent have joined forces to launch a video game development division at Bad Robot.
Bad Robot Games will be headed up by Dave Baranoff, who since 2006 has been leading Bad Robot’s games and interactive content creation. The division will work with traditional game developers to create large and indie original games for mobile, PC, and console, according to the press release. The “strategic relationship” affords Tencent the commercial rights to distribute all of the games in Asia and lists WBIE as a “synergistic minority investor.”
Terms of the agreement, beyond that, were not disclosed.
“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 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.”
Baronoff spearheaded several content and game launches at Bad Robot, including alternate reality game “Cloverfield 2008,” app “Action Movie FX,” and the “PASS Time” mode for Valve’s “Team Fortress.” He is also overseeing Bad Robot’s current co-development of multi-platform game “SPYJINX” with Epic Games.
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In 2013, Abrams spoke at the DICE video game summit in Las Vegas about his desire to work with game developer Valve on big, world-building games. He also said at the time that he was personally interested in bringing the game universes of Valve’s “Portal” and “Half-Life” games to film.