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J.J. Abrams Partners with Tencent to Launch New Gaming Company

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You probably know Tencent from their all-powerful app WeChat, or if you’ve been following RADII closely, maybe from their squabbles with Toutiao/Douyin. But the Chinese online giant also operates Tencent Games, the world’s largest gaming company in terms of revenue and market value.

We’ve covered Tencent Games’ international aspirations before, but they’ve made headlines again in the last few days, this time for their new partnership with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot label to form Bad Robot Games.

The Lost, Star Wars, and Star Trek writer-director-producer offered some context on the surprising move into gaming via an official announcement:

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. 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” is Dave Baronoff, who’s led Bad Robot’s games and interactive content since 2006. He’ll be heading up the effort, alongside Tim Keenan, who created the hit indie strategy game Duskers.

Bad Robot will handle storytelling, conceptual, and design elements, Tencent will amplify the effort and distribute games across Asia, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will join as a minority investor.

Their titles will span the spectrum of large-scale to indie games, so look forward to addictive mobile minimalism, as well as the blockbuster effect you’d expect from the studio behind franchises like Cloverfield, Star Trek, and Star Wars.

Cover image: Bad Robot

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Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a Shanghai-based writer, producer, and multimedia artist, and the Associate Editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip-hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school so he could train at the Shaolin Temple, but now just uses it to interview rappers.