Chinese Tencent keeps making big and outrageous moves, and every one of them turned out to be a perfect bullseye! It was so with developing King of Valor, expanding it onto the world market and renaming it Arena of Valor, acquiring the license for DC heroes, and now they are joining forces with Bad Robot production company, which is run by J.J. Abrams. Tencent, already a giant in the biz, and Bar Robot are hoping to join the Tencent’s expertise in developing games with the storytelling magic Bad Robot seems to have, and the two companies are planning to launch a ‘large and indie-scale project’ campaign for the PC, console, and mobile.
Jeffrey Jacob Abrams is of course well known to everyone who even remotely followed big Hollywood movie hits in the past decade. He is not only a film director, but also a screenwriter, a composer, and even an actor himself, but he is probably best known for his work on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the revival of the SW franchise. Some deemed his work on the movie as noteworthy, others perhaps disagreed, but the fact is that this guy has worked on other big titles as well, such as Star Trek (2009), Super 8 (2011), and even worked on the hit series Lost (2004-2010).
His directing, producing, and writing achievements do not stop there of course, but his involvement in video game development was not so obvious to the crowds who watch his movies. He is the leader of Bad Robot, an American television and film production company, and through it he has tackled the productions of various TV and big screen accomplishments, some of which were already mentioned, but some other honorable mentions also include Westworld (2016-2018), 11.22.63. (2016), and the company, as well as Mr. Abrams, are even set to work on ‘Portal and ‘Half-Life’ movies, both based on video games.
Now, the company and Mr. Abrams want to make their first claim of the video game developing territory, and Abrams seemed especially enthusiastic when he stated:
“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”
The catch seems to be in the vast network of artists Bad Robot Productions has. They have creative directors who are more than capable of turning anything Tencent could think of into an attractive and appealing experience, along with their visual artists, musicians, sound designers, and writers. This is not the first time Tencent have asked for a creative and artistic take on their idea. They’ve also employed the famous Hans Zimmer to develop the music for Arena of Valor, so this isn’t their first rodeo, as the Americans would say.
This joint venture division will be led by Dave Barnoff, who is the head of the interactive dept. at Bad Robot, along with Tim Keenan as the creative director. This division is funded by Tencent, but Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment also has a stake in it, being brought onboard as a minority investor. Tencent will thus reserve Asian commercial distribution rights for all things developed by this newly formed developing team, meaning all Bad Robots Games titles.
J.J. Abrams, after expressing his enthusiasm and commenting on this announcement, also 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. Dave’s creativity, deep passion and skillful leadership will be incredibly valuable as we harness our partner Tencent’s expertise, experience and reach to bring our games to audiences around the world.”
Dave Barnoff has led Bad Robot Productions’ gaming and interactive content since 2006, so he’s got over a decade of experience in such ventures, while previously mentioned Time Keenan is the creator of the indie hit strategy game called Duskers. Bad Robot already worked on a few games before, like with Valve on their hit title Team Fortress.
Tencent, who has all but created a gaming empire in China, has many previously successful titles behind their belt, like Arena of Valor and Clash of Clans, but they also have a stake in Riot Games and their League of Legends title. They have also developed numerous social and messaging platforms, such as QQ, Weixin/WeChat, Qzone, and some online payment platforms as well.
To testify about this developer’s wide reach in the gaming market are its subsidiaries as well, which are: Epic Games, Tencent Games, Riot Games, Supercell, and others.
Tencent is currently the world’s fifth largest internet company by revenue, which is estimated for the past year to be 237.8 billion CHY (Chinese Yuan), which equals around 36 billion U.S. Dollars. Its founders are Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, Chen Yidan, Xu Chenye, and Zeng Liqing.
J.J. Abrams also has a new series coming out this July, which marks the second collaboration with Stephen King. This is another Hulu series called Castle Rock, while their first collaboration was on the title 11.22.63.
The fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine has been the backdrop for many stories by the author before. Castle Rock will be a psychological horror web TV series, which will intertwine characters and themes, like Pennywise the clown and locations like Shawshank State Prison. The series is set to premiere on July 25th, 2018 on Hulu.