DICE 2013 opened today with a keynote address from Valve’s director Gabe Newell and JJ Abrams, director of the Star Trek reboot and recently announced as the director the new Star Wars films. While no announcements were made, the two both stated their wish to collaborate on a project.
Abrams suggested that he has a game project he would like to work with Valve on and Newell said he wanted “to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.”
The subject of the keynote was the different strengths and weaknessesof storytelling between games and film. Newell argued that while Abrams could create compelling stories with film his viewers had no agency. Abrams countered by pointing to moments in Half Life where the player was free to move around a room but was essentially listening to two other characters speaking exposition.
While the tone of The Verge’s live blogwas light, there was a sense of the frustration of both medium’s limitations. It may be that this is the root of the closing remarks from both men, that they wish to work on a collaborative project. Abrams told Newell that “There’s an idea for a game that we’d really like to work with Valve on” and Newell responded, saying “We’re super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.” He also said that the conversation that had formed their keynote was a recapitulation of previous conversations. This suggests that the projects they both have in mind may be beyond the early planning stages.
Expect to hear more soon.