PlayStation Productions to Turn Sony's Games Library into Major Films

The studio will take advantage of Sony's deep library of games plus the benefits of self-production versus licensing to try and make video game movies the next big thing.

Sony Interactive Entertainment is setting up a new movie studio called PlayStation Productions dedicated to turning Sony's gaming IPs into big budget films.

The news comes in an exclusive Hollywood Reporter interview with studio head Asad Qizilbash and SIE Worldwide chairman Shawn Layden.

The move comes shortly after Detective Pikachu's surprise success at the box office, but it's been planned for a while. Qizilbash said PlayStation Productions has been in the works for the past two years, as the team conducted industry and marketing research to find out how they can best make this dream a reality.

Sony properties are no strangers to the big screen, with 2016's Ratchet and Clank adaptation being the most recent outing. It's also an example of how PlayStation productions won't handle film making.

That's because despite partnering with Sony Pictures for distribution, PlayStation Productions will be handling all aspects of production, including script, vision, and casting. Qizilbash says the studio was created expressly for that purpose as well, so they could have complete control over all those areas.

Layden says that will be the studio's most important aspect:

You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing. 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.

In other words, PlayStation Productions will make movies more than just fans of the original game actually want to see — which means they might stand a chance of being successful as well.

More than that, the studio intends its films to act as a bridge between installments in game franchises, helping ease the wait for fans between new games in their favorite series.

PlayStation Productions might not be limited to just films either. Qizilbash and Layden said the choice between film and television will be based on which medium might be best for whatever franchise they're working with at hte time.

Equally as important, since PlayStation Productions is an entity under SIE with internal partnerships, the studio won't have the same sort of pressure to push productions out on a tight schedule.

Whether that lessens the chance of TV series like the famously bad Super Mario Bros. adaptation remains to be seen, however.

Contributor

Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published May. 20th 2019

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