J.J. Abrams made headlines on Friday with rumors that he’d be directing the upcoming Star Wars VII film (before being officially announced what felt like mere moments later). Gabe Newell ginned up a bevy of stories this month due to CES and Valve’s finally confirmed decision to dive into hardware.
Abrams is a masterful storyteller with a sizable and impressive filmography under his belt, an oeuvre that includes the likes of Mission: Impossible III, the Star Trek reboot, and Super 8, which doesn’t even begin to bring up his television history of Alias, Fringe, Lost, and much more. Newell similarly leads (after co-founding) one of the most popular studios not just in terms of making great-playing games but also games that tell fantastic narratives like the Half-Life and Portal series.
So if you bring them together for the DICE keynote, it only makes sense that they would talk about storytelling. Opening the 2013 DICE summit, the two industry giants will chat sans moderator in what is appropriately titled “Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?” Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, had this to say in a press release:
From TV to film and now award-winning mobile apps, there’s no question that J.J. has his finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry, and we’re thrilled to welcome him and our 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, Gabe Newell, to the D.I.C.E. stage. J.J. thoughtfully weaves together suspense, action, emotion, and fun into every one of his projects – elements every game developer aspires to capture as well. Each year, the D.I.C.E. Summit sets the tone for the year ahead in games and adding J.J. and Gabe’s shared insights is a natural fit as we see all forms of entertainment converge.
As Polygon points out, this is not the first time Newell’s Valve and Abrams’ Bad Robot will have teamed up; in 2011, the Bellevue-based developers created a Super 8 interactive trailer for Portal 2. It was a single map called e1912 that allowed players a brief opportunity to explore one of the cars of the train that ultimately creates the catalyzing crash at the beginning of the film.
This intersection of movies and games will happen on February 6th, the second night of the four-day summit at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel.