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J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot to help make mobile, PC, and console games

The new division, Bad Robot Games, will work on developing original games in partnership with the China-based publisher Tencent.

Published onJune 8, 2018

  • Bad Robot, the film and television production company founded by writer-director J.J. Abrams, has launched a gaming division, Bad Robot Games.
  • The new venture will make original games for the mobile, PC and console markets.
  • Bad Robot Games will work in a partnership with China-based publisher Tencent.

One of Hollywood’s most well-known production companies, Bad Robot, is now apparently going all in to make games as well. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company is partnering with China-based game publisher Tencent to launch a new division, called simply Bad Robot Games.

According to the story, Bad Robot Games will look to outside game developers to help make new and original games for the mobile, PC and console space. Bad Robot’s own visual artists, designers, and writers will collaborate with the developers on these projects.

Warner Bros. Interactive will also take a minority stake in the new Bad Robot Games, alongside Tencent. The specific financial terms were not disclosed.

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Tencent is already a huge company in the Western games industry, as it owns a number of minority stakes in companies such as Glu Mobile and game developer Robot Entertainment. It also owns a majority stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell, and owns 5 percent of Bluehole, the creators of the hit battle royale game PUBG. Tencent publishes the mobile version of that game, and the company still own a small portion of Epic Games, which has seen a massive resurgence, thanks to the popularity of PUBG’s biggest rival, Fortnite.

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Bad Robot’s founder is J.J. Abrams, who has been directly or indirectly responsible for some of the biggest TV and movie hits of all time. He’s had a hand in TV shows such as Alias, Lost, Fringe and most recently Westworld. He has also produced, written or directed films like the rebooted Star Trek movie series, Super 8, the Cloverfield franchise and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His next film project is Star Wars: Episode IX, which he will direct, produce and co-write, and will be released in December 2019.

In a statement, Abrams said he was a “massive games fan” and the new Bad Robot Games, in partnership with Tencent, means that it will be “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.”

Abrams said in 2013 he was working with Valve on ways to adapt its game properties into films, like Half-Life and Portal, but those plans have yet to be achieved. In November 2015, Epic Games’ Chair Entertainment announced plans to make the mobile game Spyjinx, in collaboration with Bad Robot. There’s been little to no info on that game since the reveal.

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