Sony Interactive Adapting Games for Movies & TV With PlayStation Productions

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Once again Sony Interactive is changing the game, but this time for both the big screen and the small screen.  Learn more about their new studio, PlayStation Productions, within…

The history of video games to movies is riddled with failure after failure.  Movies like Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, and even Tomb Raider, just to name a few, have severely lacked with studios and directors taking unnecessary liberties, just because they didn’t understand the characters or their story.  It’s resulted in these multi-million dollar investments becoming duds at the box office.

Sony Interactive seems to have taken note of all the failures of their predecessors and decided to go in a different route.  In a new report by THRAsad Qizilbash and chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden, announced that they will be developing their own studio, PlayStation Productions, in order to develop their vast inventory of games into Movies and Television show.

“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories,” Layden says “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.”

PlayStation Productions will be headed by Qizilbash and overseen by Layden.  They have an obvious partnership set with Sony Pictures.  However, they’ll only be in charge of distribution and will have no say on production.  That means that the studio will retain all the creative control for their own IPs.  Qizilbash explained why:

“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.”

This is uncharted waters for video games, as previous adaptations have all led to outside parties trying to develop 80 hours of story into a 2-hour movie, resulting in a catastrophic failure, for the most part.  With PlayStation Productions, they will be in charge of bringing in their own directors, actors, and writers to bring their games to life.

In that aspect, PlayStation Productions will run similar to that of Marvel Studios, which makes sense given that they consulted with Kevin Feige.

“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.”

“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.” 

How do you condense 80 hours into 2, though?  Layden has a theory on that.

“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.”

They won’t all be movies, though. PlayStation Productions will also adapt certain games for Television. Though, it’ll be the story that dictates the path they choose to go down.

The good news is, PlayStation Productions will be able to take their time deciding which games will be adapted, how, and ultimately apply it.  Since Sony Pictures is the sister company to this new studio, they aren’t putting rigorous deadlines or even a timetable on them, like they would with other 3rd party studios.

It’s a fascinating development, to be sure, but it’s even more intriguing when you realize that this production company is being formed whilst Sony Pictures has been working feverishly on adapting an Uncharted film.  This development could mean more changes to the film and an even longer wait, as PlayStation Productions comes together.

As more news on PlayStation Productions develops, we’ll have it here on Cinelinx!