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J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot forms games division

Bad Robot, the production company of J.J. “I make every show and movie starting with ‘Star’” Abrams, have officially opened a video games division. They have dabbled in games before, including collaborating with Valve on Team Fortress 2’s Pass Time mode and with ChAIR on the still-unseen Spyjinx, but now they’re really going for it. Video games are a good match for J.J.: they share the same wild lust for exaggerated lensflare effects. What makes this most interesting is that the creative director of Bad Robot Games is Tim Keenan, the creator of wonderful low-fi sci-fi horror Duskers.

The plan, as Hollywood Reporter reports, is to make large-scale and “indie” games for PC, consoles, and pocket telephones. They haven’t announced any specific games or anything, but Tim Keenan’s involvement certainly piqued my interest.

Duskers is fantastic horror, as our Brendy’s Duskers review explained, doing so much with so little as we sit behind a computer terminal sending drones to raid derelict spaceships and avoid unseen alien horrors. I’m curious to see what Keenan does next.

Bad Robot’s games division is headed by Dave Baronoff, who’s been in charge of their games dabblings since 2006. Hey, remember how Portal 2 came with a walk-aroundable in-game trailer… thing for J.J.’s movie Super 8? That was weird. J.J. and Valve’s Gabe Newell talked about a Portal movie years ago too.

Bad Robot Games is formed in partnership with Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate spanning so very many industries – who also own Riot Games, hold most of Path Of Exile’s studio Grinding Gear, and have smaller stakes in such companies as Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Ubisoft. Their fingers are in a great many gaming pies. Warner Bros. are a minority investor in Bad Robot Games too.

“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. “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.”

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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