Star Wars' J.J. Abrams to discuss storytelling at DICE with Gabe Newell

J.J. Abrams, director of the recently announced new Star Wars series of movies, will join Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell on stage next month at the 2013 DICE summit to talk about storytelling across platforms.

"From TV to film and now award-winning mobile apps, there's no question that J.J. has his finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry, and we're thrilled to welcome him and our 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, Gabe Newell, to the D.I.C.E. stage," Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, wrote in a prepared statement. "J.J. thoughtfully weaves together suspense, action, emotion, and fun into every one of his projects - elements every game developer aspires to capture as well. Each year, the D.I.C.E. Summit sets the tone for the year ahead in games and adding J.J. and Gabe's shared insights is a natural fit as we see all forms of entertainment converge."

The Feb. 6 keynote, entitled "Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?" will kick off this year's Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain summit at 9:25 a.m. in Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel.

The keynote will be an informal chat between the film director and the game maker, with no moderator, a spokesman told Polygon.

This isn't the first time that Valve Corporation and Bad Robot Productions have teamed up. In 2011, Valve created a Super 8 interactive trailer as an extra for Portal 2. The special map, entitled e1912, takes place inside one of the train cars minutes before the crash that kicks off the movie. Players have a bit of time to walk around inside the car, examining bits and pieces that hint at the movie's backstory.


Friday night, Lucasfilm confirmed that Abrams, recently off a directing stint for the latest Star Trek movie, will be helming the next movie in the Star Wars series. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films.

"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor," Abrams said in a prepared statement. "I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."

Abrams, longtime producing partner Bryan Burk and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.

While Abrams is best known for his work in television and movies, he has also tried his hand at game development through Bad Robot Interactive, which co-created a Super 8 app and created the Action Movie FX app.

Newell, who is being inducted into the Hall of Fame at this year's summit, will also give a presentation on his own later in the week entitled "A View on Next Steps," which will focus on where the industry is heading, the advances Valve is making with Steam and Big Picture to prepare for the future and more.

DICE officials tell Polygon that the morning keynotes, including Newell and Abrams' chat, will be live streamed.

Update: According to an update from DICE organizers, Newell and Abrams' keynote will no longer be live streamed. Instead, a replay of the talk will be available for viewing after it concludes. Polygon will be liveblogging the duo's 40-minute chat, which starts at 9:25 a.m. PT.

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