JJ Abrams and Tencent team up for Bad Robot Games

JJ Abrams' production company Bad Robot has entered into a partnership with Chinese conglomerate Tencent to launch a new division called Bad Robot Games. The Hollywood Reporter said that Warner Bros. Interactive is also involved in the new company as a minority investor. 

Bad Robot Games will employ in-house artists, writers, and designers who will develop both "large-scale and indie titles" in partnership with existing studios. It will be headed up by Dave Baronoff, who has been in charge of Bad Robot's "games and interactive content creation" since 2006, while Tim Keenan, the creator of the 2016 indie hit Duskers, will serve as creative director. 

"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."

The report isn't clear on how the pieces come together, but my guess is that this represents a more serious and committed approach to game development that will supercede Bad Robot's previous interactive efforts. It was involved in the creation of the Pass Time mode for Team Fortress 2 a few years ago, and apparently it had something to do with a couple of Cloverfield ARGs

The launch of the new division will also enable Tencent to continue its move into the Western gaming market in a big way, and will have exclusive distribution rights to all Bad Robot games released in Asia as well. Thus far, no new projects have been announced. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.