Star Trek game disappointed J.J. Abrams: “emotionally it hurt”

Friday, 13th September 2013 11:35 GMT By Dave Cook

Star Trek: Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams has discussed how disappointed he was with Digital Extreme’s game tie-in.

Speaking with Gamerhub, Abrams explained, “The last game, which was obviously a big disappointment to me, was something that we were actually involved in from the very beginning and then we sort of realised that it was not going in a place where we were going to get what we wanted, so we dropped out and they continued to do it despite… y’know. “Y’know”, in this instance, is polite-speak for “it sucked.”

“To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefitted the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay, and instead it was not and was something that I think, for me emotionally it hurt, ‘cos we were working our asses off making the movie and then this game came out and it got, this isn’t even my opinion, it got universally panned and I think that it was something without question that didn’t help the movie and arguably hurt it.”

Despite his dismay at the end-product, Abrams hasn’t gone sour on the idea of video game movie adaptations entirely, as he’s currently working on some projects for Valve. He continued, “I think that, we all know is that anyone who loves video games and loves movies… very, very rarely does a movie based on a game, or a game based on a movie, really work. It usually ends up being something that everyone that goes to play feels like this was a marketing decision made by a room full of people that wanted to capitalise on a title. That’s no way to make a game and no way to make a movie.

“The dream is – we’re working with Valve right now on a couple of projects – is to say okay, despite its existence as a game, despite its existence as a movie, what makes this great? And starting from scratch, let’s make this from the ground up great, regardless of what’s come before.

“And that’s me, whether it’s a video game or a book or a movie or a song. Anything that is based on something else, it needs to exist on its own terms. And a lot of times these seem to exist as an ancillary product, in which case it will suck.”

Do you agree with Abrams on the Star Trek tie-in? Do you feel there is a magic solution to this ongoing problem? Let us know below.

Via OXM.



  1. Tech-N9ne

    Seriously? What did he expect with a crappy Dev.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. GrimRita

    He had better get used to it when Disney chuck out Star Wars games.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. SameeR_Fisher

    No offense but I need more than “To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefitted the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay”

    Come out straight and say you wanted X,Y,Z and the developer didn’t do it or couldn’t do it, then we can talk, but being so vague like that, well I fail to see you making a point.

    Granted I didn’t play the game.

    @1: they are not crappy, The Darkness 2 was tons of fun, and Warframe is praised from alot of people, and I can’t wait to try it on PS4, I also hope they do The Darkness 3.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. silkvg247

    Valve eh? Spiritual successor to elite force please especially focusing on multiplayer.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    ST: Elite Force rebooted could be fantastic!

    #5 11 months ago
  6. Froseidon

    @1 – Crappy? They did some of the Unreal games series and BioShock 1 and 2 (granted 2 wasn’t as good as the first).

    However, they cocked this game up.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. unacomn


    #7 11 months ago
  8. YoungZer0

    Yeah, it was pretty bad. But then again Star Trek 2 wasn’t that good either.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Hellhound30x

    Well I would just like to point out that Digital Extremes was the development house that made Dark Sector?? Why would you JJ go with a dev house like that?
    Why not ask Kojima Productions? Bungie? Naughty Dog? Santa Monica Studios? My point being why not ask a dev house worth a damn!

    Peter Jackson played Beyond Good and Evil, and he absolutely loved the game. what did he do? He hired the same guys to make the King Kong game which was actually a pretty decent game for its time, and probably one of the licensed made games from a movie that I enjoyed.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. ArithonUK

    @5 Elite Force would be awesome in a current graphics engine.

    The problem stems from the fact the game is made to promote a film, not made for the sake of making a good game. A set budget and deadline, no real love for the medium. How could a film tie-in game not suck?

    #10 11 months ago
  11. bradk825

    The Star Trek game wasn’t what I would have called “bad” 6 years ago, but it didn’t stack up to today’s possibilities. Run, jump, shoot, take cover. It really just had nothing new to it.

    The story was pretty much an afterthought. No big plot items to speak of, just served as a reason in the background for all the shooting. There were about two levels maybe where I said to myself “I haven’t seen that before.”

    #11 11 months ago
  12. AngryConsumer

    to be honest that game emotionally hurt my wallet and was shit. absolutely not worth the money or anybodys time.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    You know what would have benefitted Star Trek even better, Mr. Abrams? Not releasing such a god awfully terrible movie.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. viralshag

    What was wrong with the movie? I thought it was great.

    #14 11 months ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @16 Besides the paper thin story, the filler action scenes, the poor use of the extended cast, the predictable plot twist with the villian, the other plot twist that chickened out in the end, completely removing any emotional weight it could have, and the hideously rushed ending?

    It was an absolutely atrocious movie in every respect.

    #15 11 months ago
  16. zinc

    So is JJ working on a movie adaptation of Portal then?

    #16 11 months ago
  17. Kreion

    Oh do tell of how it was such an awful movie some more, in fact why don’t you also tell me about your favorite-movie-which-I-likely-haven’t-heard-of -.- Given that it’s rated relatively highly by Trek fans, I suggest you get back in your den of misery. Because if there’s one group of people I expect to slam a movie that’s not good, it’s fans of the series.

    Granted there was a lot of anger when the movie was first released, but the was more about the used of the character Khan and simmered out pretty quickly.

    So, no: it wasn’t.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. zinc


    #18 11 months ago
  19. absolutezero

    Needed more lens flare that would have made it better.

    #19 11 months ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    @19 “Oh do tell of how it was such an awful movie some more.”

    He asked. I answered.

    “Given that it’s rated relatively highly by Trek fans”

    It is? Because everywhere I’ve looked, its completely loathed by fans. But that’s irrelevant. The popularity of an opinion doesn’t make it more valid, so I fail to see why this is relevant. So what if they do? What relevance does that have? Their opinion isn’t mine.

    “I suggest you get back in your den of misery”

    Lord forbid people have different opinions on things.

    All I see right now is a fan who can’t deal with critical opinions without going on the defensive and undermining the character of people with different. opinions. Because its far more difficult to actually discuss the merits / flaws of the movie than to simply insult those who don’t agree with you.

    Den of Misery? Ell oh ell. Lazy, reactionary insult is lazy and reactionary. I’m positive about countless things. Things I actually think are of good quality. This is not one of them.

    “So, no: it wasn’t.”

    Opinions aren’t facts. I never said my opinion was law.

    I am a fan of the series, and liked the first reboot decently enough. I’m also the sort of fan who is always very open to reinterpretations and changes to the things I like, unlike many. Still, on a purely critical level, I thought the movie was terrible.

    If you care so much, try actually arguing against the flaws of the movie I mentioned. If you don’t care, then don’t reply to my comments just to try and insult me.

    #20 11 months ago
  21. Lengendaryboss

    Should have predicted it from start. If people really care about their creations they should really research whose hands it goes into.

    #21 11 months ago
  22. Stephany Nunneley

    @19 Actually I am a massive Star Trek fan and I have to agree with Michael 100% on this. Granted it was not the WORST movie I have ever seen – and I went into it this time “expecting” to enjoy it unlike the first one which I refused to see until I was more or less forced into it.

    #22 11 months ago
  23. bradk825

    @20: You win the thread.
    @18: nevermind, you win the internet. That would be a fucking HILARIOUS movie!! The cake is a lie.

    #23 11 months ago
  24. viralshag

    @17, We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one then.

    @24, Steph, where would you rate it among the other full length films of Star Trek? It can’t possibly be worse than Star Trek V?

    #24 11 months ago
  25. Stephany Nunneley

    @26 The whole mountain climbing bit at the beginning of ST5 was just laughable. It set the shit tone for the entire film :D

    However on a scale featuring all the films I would put Into Darkness at second to last with ST5 being the worst.

    Clearly the Wrath of Khan is the best EVER. Ricardo Montalban FTFW! :D

    #25 11 months ago
  26. viralshag

    @Steph, Wow… that’s pretty low. I’m not sure I would put it anywhere near the bottom.

    To be honest I think Wrath of Khan is probably one of the best.

    ST1-4 are all great including 6 imo. Generations was OK, First Contact was good and Nemisis was good too (Tom Hardy ftw). I like the reboots too. It’s really only 5 I have a problem with.

    #26 11 months ago
  27. silkvg247

    The Star Trek movie with the whales and the humour was my fave.

    I pretty much enjoyed them all, and the remakes have been ok but not sure about Syler being spock.

    #27 11 months ago
  28. viralshag

    @Silk, I think he makes a great Spock! Probably the best thing out of all of it.

    And that would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It’s considered one of the best. ;)

    #28 11 months ago
  29. Ireland Michael

    However I feel about the new movie, Zachary Quinto really is inspired casting when it comes to Spock. Full credit where credit is due for that one. Bar him and Karl Urban though, most of the rest of the cast is sadly pretty terrible.

    #29 11 months ago
  30. silkvg247

    I suppose, but I keep thinking he’s a serial killer. :p

    #30 11 months ago
  31. Panthro

    I think Chris Pine was a good choice, he resembles young Kirk and pulls off how arrogant but awesome Kirk was, Also since its set in a different timeline it should be expected that kirk acts a bit differently and impulsive since the when the timeline got corrupted it set off a whole different path for his life to take.
    And I don’t usually like Karl Urban but he nailed MCcoy I him respect for that.

    #31 11 months ago
  32. viralshag

    I’m glad Urban is being left off the shitlist because again, I think he plays McCoy well. Pine I could go either way on but I think Pegg is a good Scotty.

    #32 11 months ago
  33. Stephany Nunneley

    @32 Same here. Ever since Heroes I cannot see Qunito has anything else (man I hated him!) even in American Horror Story I just wanted to reach through the screen and slap him. :D

    #33 11 months ago
  34. LordCancer

    @ Froseidon – “Crappy? They did some of the Unreal games series and BioShock 1 and 2 (granted 2 wasn’t as good as the first).”

    wow, you just credit digital extremes with making bioshock.

    Irrational Games made bioshock! digital extremes ported the ps3 version. 2k marin was primary developer for bioshock 2 with several others including arkane studios and digital extremes did bioshock 2 multiplayer only.

    have you played any of there actual games pariah? crap. dark sector? crap. star trek? clearly crap!

    #34 11 months ago
  35. fearmonkey

    I know your pain JJ abrams. I felt the same when you destroyed the entire series canon in the first movie.

    #35 11 months ago
  36. viralshag

    @36, that’s kinda the whole point though isn’t it? I think it’s much better to start with a clean slate and take similar situations and add new spin on it.

    I think the way ST was rebooted was much better than the way they do it with things like Superman or Batman which pretty much tells the same origin story over and over.

    #36 11 months ago

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