The 2013 DICE summit, a yearly gathering of executives in the video game industry is currently ongoing in Las Vegas. During the opening presentation, Valve and JJ Abrams announced they would be teaming up to make movies and games in the future.
Every year, the top people in the video game industry gather at the DICE summit to discuss the industry for a few days. The opening presentation on Tuesday, titled "Storytelling across platforms", was presented by Valve's CEO, Gabe Newell (Half-Life, Portal) and director/producer JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek). During the end of the presentation, they revealed that Valve and Abrams' production company Bad Robot would be teaming up to make movies and even games, in the future.
This handshake could lead to some interesting things
“We’re going to figure out if we can make a Portal movie or Half-Life movie together" stated Newell during the presentation. Valve have said in the past that they would consider having one of their games made into a movie, but made it clear that it would only happen if they were directly involved in the process; that does indeed seem to be the case here.
Abrams then added "There’s an idea we have for a game that we’d like to work with Valve on." Again, this is something which, in a way, has been brought up in the past. Portal 2 contained an interactive trailer, essentially a minute long game made in Valve's source engine, for JJ Abram's movie Super 8. It may have been a tiny collaboration, but it was a collaboration nonetheless.
Screenshot from the interactive Super8 trailer
The surprise announcement took the form of a rehearsed discussion of whether games or movies functioned as a better storytelling medium. Games were critiqued by Abrams for often putting the player in an empty vessel of a character (Half-Life's mute protagonist Gordon Freeman being the archetypical example), while Newell remarked on how the interactivity and self pacing of a game is sometimes preferable to the lack of control one has in movies. The discussion was a leadup to the advantages of having both industries work together, and the announcement that the two parties would be teaming up.
No specifics have been released as of yet, beyond the mention of Half-Life and Portal, but we will update you on this story as it develops.