With Tencent's help, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot opens new game studio


J.J. Abrams’ film and TV production company Bad Robot Productions announced this week that it’s opening a new game-making division, Bad Robot Games, in partnership with Chinese megacorp Tencent (and a minority investment from Warner Bros. Interactive).

Notably, Bad Robot Games is being pitched (to The Hollywood Reporter, at least) as an outfit that will “partner with established developers” to create games for mobile, PC and consoles, with assistance from Bad Robot’s retinue of creatives (artists, writers, animators, etc.)

Veteran indie dev Tim Keenan (Duskers) has been tapped to be Bad Robot Games’ new creative director, with longtime Bad Robot Interactive chief Dave Baronoff now serving as Bad Robot Games division chief.

This seems like a significant push into the game industry for Bad Robot, but it’s not a new idea; the company’s Interactive division has worked on mobile games and apps for years, and Abrams has occasionlly popped up in the pages of game industry news.

In 2013 he announced he was interested in making games, and then in 2015 he said he and Bad Robot were working with Epic’s Chair Entertainment on the (as yet unreleased) espionage game Spyjinx.

“I just enjoy the experience of making various things. And games are something as a player, I’ve loved and appreciated for years,” Abrams told Gamasutra in 2013. “The idea of going deeper… I think we already took the first step into the pool with the [Action Movie FX] app, and we’re ready now to dive into interactive. Dave Baronoff, who runs Bad Robot Interactive, is leading the charge in that regard. And we’re excited about the opportunities there.”