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Star Trek game 'arguably hurt' the movie, says J.J. Abrams

Director believes it "could have been something that actually really benefited the series"

Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has offered his opinion on the recent Digital Extremes-developed Star Trek tie-in game, lamenting the quality of the final product and saying that it "emotionally hurt" him.


"The last game, which was obviously a big disappointment to me, was something that we were actually involved in from the very beginning," Abrams told GamerHub.

"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."

Reviews of the game, which was published by Namco Bandai, were generally unfavourable. Our Star Trek review said it was "a deeply unremarkable cover shooter" that was "punctuated by endless hacking mini-games and woeful space combat".

"To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefited the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay," Abrams continued.

"Instead it was not and was something that I think, for me emotionally it hurt because 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."

Abrams reflected on the trend of movie to game adaptations, and vice versa, rarely producing something worthy of acclaim, but indicated this hasn't put him off exploring the medium in the future.

"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," he said. "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.

"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."

Abrams, who is now directing Star Wars, is also partnering with Valve to produce a movie based on Portal or Half-Life. The project was revealed by Valve's Gabe Newell during DICE Summit in February 2013. At the event Newell said they two have "reached the point where we decided to do more than talk."

"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."

CVG's own Gamer Gran, a self-confessed Star Trek fangirl, offered a dissenting opinion on the game. Watch Gamer Gran's Star Trek review here.