Sony Interactive Entertainment has launched PlayStation Productions, a production studio dedicated to turning some of its games into TV shows and movies.
Considering Sony already has a big hand in film and TV production, it comes as no surprise that it’s launching a studio dedicated to adapting some of its more than 100 titles into series’ and motion pictures. The new studio will be helmed by Asad Qizilbash with the chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden, overseeing the project.
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises, and stories,” Layden tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
This move likely comes after several video game adaptations have been panned by critics. Qizilbash pretty much confirms this to The Hollywood Reporter saying “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.”
“You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing,” Layden added. “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.”
It’s no secret that video game movies haven’t performed very well in the past. Look at the recent slew of releases which haven’t been received all too well, like Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and even the upcoming Sonic movie… Okay, Detective Pikachu seems to be turning the tables somewhat, but it’s Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu and the Pokémon IP – how can you get THAT wrong?
THR has also revealed that Sony Pictures will help with distribution, but production will solely lie within PlayStation Productions, to begin with. As for what we can expect from the studio, Qizilbash reveals that the adaptation will depend on the title and whether it’ll be a TV series or a movie.
With titles like The Last of Us, Uncharted, God of War, and many more under its belt, chances are we’ll be seeing movies and TV series’ based around these incredibly popular IPs.