Sony Interactive Entertainment has launched a new unit called PlayStation Productions with the goal of exploring its extensive catalog of games to see which franchises could be candidates for film and TV adaptations. Sony's got no shortage of games to pick from, and it looks like some properties have apparently already been chosen since the unit is already working on producing its first set of projects, a new report suggests.
The unit will be headed by Asad Qizilbash, the vice president of marketing for exclusive games at PlayStation, and will be overseen by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden, The Hollywood Reporter said. Layden told the outlet that "now is a good time to look at other media opportunities" in areas such as streaming, film, and TV to expand Sony's properties to other mediums. Production of these project will be handled by PlayStation Productions with the sister company Sony Studios assisting with the distribution which means that these projects won't be licensed out to other companies.
"Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves," Qizilbash told The Hollywood Reporter. "One, because we're more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves."
Qizilbash added that SIE spoke to both Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Kevin Feige to get a better understanding of the industry, and Layden said Marvel's vast collection of movies was part of the inspiration for PlayStation Productions.
"We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world," says Layden. "It would be a lofty goal to say we're following in their footsteps, but certainly we're taking inspiration from that."
Layden spoke to some degree about the "curse" that plagues video game movies, one that prevents most movies adapted from games from standing out in a positive way. He said most people involved with those films don't understand the world of gaming and that it's not possible to adapt 80 hours of gameplay into a movie. Instead, he recommended people "take that ethos" and write for a film audience.
Specific projects have not yet been announced, but Qizilbash said the format the games will be adapted to depends on the property. Layden said that these projects will serve as new ways for PlayStation fans to "have more touchpoints with franchises" while they look for other experiences with known characters between games.