J.J. Abrams has been keeping busy: The director of the upcoming Star Wars sequel has also been working on a game for the past couple of years. SpyJinx has finally been announced, a collaboration between Abrams’ studio Bad Robot Productions and Infinity Blade developer Chair Entertainment. It’s headed to PC and mobile next year, and both teams are pretty excited.
It turns out that Abrams and his kids are big fans of the Infinity Blade series, while the team at Chair are big fans of Abrams’ work. The mutual admiration society got together back in 2013, and they’re now ready to talk about their work.
Chair co-founder Donald Mustard breaks the silence to talk about the collaboration:
When we build our games, we work very closely together as a team. J.J. and all the other awesome people at Bad Robot quickly folded into that process. We all sat down with a blank slate and basically said, ‘We can build anything. What do we want to build?’ It went from there.
It’s not the first time Bad Robot has dipped its toes into the waters of game development – it’s previously released a special effects app Action Movie FX and worked closely with Valve on a new mode for Team Fortress 2, but the studio wanted to do something more, this time around.
Both teams decided not to simply use a pre-existing franchise (although obviously Abrams has his fingers in some particularly tasty pies), instead creating an all-new universe. SpyJinx combines a number of different game types, blending action and real-time strategy with dynamic world building and a “deep role-playing character development system”, all wrapped up in a treacherous world of espionage.
The game runs on Unreal Engine 4 so we’re guessing it looks pretty sweet, even though we’ve not actually laid eyes upon it yet.
J.J. is very much a gamer. It’s not just lip service. When he was still in the middle of filming ‘Star Wars’ last year, he would call me up with suggestions for ‘Spyjinx.’ He understands the core tenants of game design. I think he sees there’s a very viable form of entertainment that is interactive. J.J. loves telling stories, and this is another avenue for him to tell awesome stories.
Sound like something you want to try? You can sign up for the closed beta right now – we don’t know when it’s coming, but if you’re on the list, you’ll get all the updates.