PlayStation Productions launched by Sony to adapt video games for film & TV
The Hollywood Reporter brings word that PlayStation Productions has been launched by Sony Interactive Entertainment to adapt the company’s video game catalog, consisting of over 100 titles, for film and television projects.
The production studio will be headed by Asad Qizilbash with Shawn Layden, chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, overseeing. Production has already begun on the new studio’s first set of projects.
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises, and stories,” Layden told the outlet. “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.”
The chairman also added that they are learning from adaptations of the past to figure out what worked and what didn’t: “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.”
Sony’s original game titles include a blend of genres, including adventure, sci-fi, action, mystery, and horror, giving the company room to play with a variety of potential content they can develop for the big and small screen. Sony Pictures will help with distribution, with production handled firsthand by PlayStation Productions.
“For the last year and a half, two years, we’ve spent time trying to understand the industry, talking to writers, directors, producers,” said Qizilbash. “We talked to [film producer] Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Kevin Feige to really get an understanding of the industry.”
Qizilbash added that the story of each game title will determine whether the adaptation will focus on film or television. Partnering with Sony Pictures will allow the studio the time to make the projects that they hope will live up to the quality of their video games. Layden and Qizilbash commented that they have no intention to “rush the market,” that they are more concerned with the quality of each adaptation. The duo hopes their passion project will lead to PlayStation Productions becoming the first studio to take video game titles and produce something “lasting and meaningful in a completely different medium.”