CARY – J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, best known for his Star Trek, Star Wars, and Cloverfield films, is expanding into the gaming space. Bad Robot’s gaming and interactive head, David Barnoff, who is currently working with Cary-based Epic Games on a title called Spyjinx, will lead the new effort.
So now will we get Epic’s Fortnite (the world’s most popular online game) for the galaxy, the final frontier?
Bad Robot President and COO Brain Weinstein announced Thursday that the company has inked a strategic deal with Chinese media giant, Tencent to create Bad Robot Games. It will develop games by Abrams and Bad Robot with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment joining as a minority investor.
Tencent owns 40 percent of Epic Games.
Barnoff, leader of Bad Robot’s interactive and gaming creation since 2006, will lead the new game division. In-house artists, designers, and writers will partner with established developers to create titles for mobile, PC, and console markets.
In the partnership announcement, Abrams said, “I’m a massive games fan, and increasing envious of the amazing tools developers get to work with, and the worlds they get to play in. 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.”
Abrams said Barnoff’s “Creativity, deep passion, and skillful leadership” will be valuable as Bad Robot harnesses Tencent’s expertise, experience and reach to bring its games to worldwide audiences.
Spyjinx, the Bad Robot collaboration with Epic, is currently seeking beta players. According to its web site, it is powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 and is a mix of action strategy, dynamic world building, and character development in a “thrilling, treacherous world of espionage.