During a question-and-answer session on the online-aggregation site Reddit, Newell explained why Valve is partnering with Star Trek director J.J. Abrams for film projects based on the developer’s properties. It’s not just because they like his movies or because they wanted to have him tell them secrets about his upcoming Star Wars film. Instead, it’s because they like the way he talks.
“The main thing is that, when we talk with him, it’s like talking with someone who works at Valve,” wrote Newell. “That’s not usually the case with people from the film industry.”
In February 2013, Newell and Abrams took the stage together at the annual DICE gaming summit in Las Vegas. They revealed that they are partnering up to work on game and movie projects. This would bring Valve into Hollywood and Abrams into game development.
They also talked about how movies and games can learn from one another. Abrams showed clips from films like Jaws and Die Hard, and explained how they have a consistency in their storytelling. Newell, on the other hand, showed scenes from Portal 2 where players control how the pace at which they learn about the story of a world.
“The more you play, the more you learn, the more you feel,” Abrams said in response to Newell’s presentation.
Neither Valve nor Abrams have spoken or elaborated on the partnership since then, and Newell’s response suggests that their initial plans are still in the works.