PlayStation Productions has been announced by Sony, with the new production studio set to focus on bringing the company’s games to film and TV. While game adaptations have garnered themselves a negative reputation over the years (excluding the recently released Detective Pikachu), Sony is looking to break the PlayStation brand out of gaming, and create movies and TV series based on its litany of franchises.
PlayStation Productions will be headed up by Asad Qizilbash, who started a new role with the company in 2017 in which he was made responsible for “transforming PlayStation’s portfolio of gaming brands into global entertainment franchises,” according to Linkedin. The studio will be overseen of Sony Interactive Entertainment Chairman Shawn Layden.
Sony is reportedly already working on its first batch of unnamed projects, which will focus on the original properties the company owns. As Qizilbash told Hollywood Reporter, Sony believes that creating films and TV shows based on its own properties rather than licensing them out was a “better approach.” Explaining why the company has opted to go this route, Qizilbash replied: “One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
Shawn Layden pointed to PlayStation’s “25 years of great games, franchises, and stories” as being the perfect launching pad for the studio, which will see SIE looking at “other media opportunities across streaming or film or television to give our worlds life in another spectrum.”
The mention of streaming suggests that Sony could be looking to tie PlayStation Productions’ efforts in with its PS Now game streaming service, or that the company is perhaps looking to collaborate with another service such as Netflix to bring its films and shows to the small screen.
Layden also acknowledged the difficulties production companies have faced when creating successful video game adaptations in the past. The number of possible films based upon game franchises is few and far between, with there often being a huge disconnect between what fans of each game series want, and what the film studios wind up giving them.
Layden noted how those involved in making game adaptations often don’t understand the medium or what made the game popular, and that PlayStation Productions is looking to write “specifically for the film audience” rather than “try to retell the game in a movie.”
It remains to be seen where Sony winds up taking PlayStation Productions, but with blockbuster series such as The Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted under its belt, there’s plenty of material for the studio to work with. Hopefully, this will help break the terrible run of game adaptations we’ve become used to.