Sony has officially announced the formation of PlayStation Productions, a studio whose primary function will be to adapt the many video game properties under the company into other entertainment mediums such as movies and TV series.
Headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden himself, PlayStation Productions is already producing its first slate of projects at its headquarters in Culver City, California in the U.S.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Layden said:
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises, and stories.
We feel that now is a good time to look at other media opportunities across streaming or film or television to give our worlds life in another spectrum.”
Unlike other game developers and publishers who license their game rights to other studios to produce, PlayStation Productions will handle everything in-house and firsthand, with the exception of distribution which will be by Sony Pictures. Hopefully, that means we won’t be getting duds like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed (2016) and Blizzard’s Warcraft (2016).
“Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves.
One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
He also revealed that they have actually been working on PlayStation Productions for the past two years by spending time consulting with professionals in the movie and TV industries like writers, directors, and producers.
According to Layden, PlayStation Productions is looking to Marvel Studios for inspiration and wants to do for games like what they did for comics with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also reassured gamers that they have a plan to make sure that they’ll avoid the dreaded video game curse.
“You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing. The real challenge is, how do you take 80 hours of gameplay and make it into a movie?
The answer is, you don’t. What you do is you take that ethos you write from there specifically for the film audience. You don’t try to retell the game in a movie.”
This news is huge for not only for the PlayStation brand but also the games industry as a whole. Games, just like comics and books, are ripe for adaptation in other mediums but have lacked the same amount of attention and care.
Most recently, I found Detective Pikachu to be a step in the right direction, although it still could have been a lot better (check out the full review here). However, with the rise of PlayStation Productions, perhaps video game movies will be just as popular as comic book movies in the future.