Sometimes, you just have to do things yourself.
Video game adaptations have been… mostly received negatively from fans and critics. At this point, we have yet to see a critically acclaimed adaptation of a beloved video game. Well, the future may be bright as Sony has announced that they will be opening up their own production studio to adapt their own games.
In an exclusive report from THR, Sony Entertainment has launched PlayStation Productions, a production studio that will utilize the company’s extensive catalog of video game titles for film and television. The new enterprise will be headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden.
The studio is already in production on its first slate of projects and has set up shop on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. In a statement, Shawn Layden had this to say:
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories. 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.”
Sony decided that, instead of licensing their games to various film studios, they would dip their own toes into the vast library of more than 100 titles, ranging from complex and emotional stories to sci-fi action.
“Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves,” says Qizilbash. “One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
Sony Pictures, a sister company, will assist in distribution, but production of projects will be handled by PlayStation Productions firsthand, not licensed out as is the case with similar enterprises at other game companies.
“For the last year and half, two years, we’ve spent time trying to understand the industry, talking to writers, directors, producers,” says Qizilbash. “We talked to [film producer] Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Kevin Feige to really get an understanding of the industry.”
Layden goes on to say that the landscape in Hollywood has changed in recent years, allowing for this venture to become more of a reality. While a enterprise like this would have been a hard sell so many decades ago, has now become much easier, thanks in large part to filmmakers being gamers themselves.
“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 then says that, with games such as Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, God of War, and The Last of Us, the real challenge is condensing an 80 hour story into a 2 hour film:
“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 says. “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.”
Through its partnership with Sony Pictures, PlayStation Productions will have complete creative control, and will not be rushed in getting these potential projects to market.
Are you excited about Playstation and Sony making their own video game adaptations? Let us know in the comments down below!