Video game movies have run the gamut from good to bad to comically bad and now we’re going to be getting even more of them. PlayStation Productions has been announced as a new company that will exclusively focus on adapting Sony’s video games to the silver and small screens.
PlayStation Productions will be headed by Asad Qizilbash. Mr. Qizilbash has worked at Sony for the last 11 years, largely as an executive in the marketing department. Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden will be overseeing the project.
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises, and stories,” Layden said to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
After decades in the gaming business, Sony has built up a catalog of over 100 original properties that could easily be translated into film. Ultimately, the company decided that the better move would be to start their own production company rather than license the IPs out to a third party that may not produce the best results possible.
That’s not to say that the projects are going to be exclusively going into movie theaters, though. PlayStation Productions will also be producing television series, although they haven’t yet gone into specifics about where these shows could debut. Whether a game gets turned into a movie, TV show, or both largely depends on which would serve for the better adaptation overall. What is clear is that the landscape of Hollywood has changed and it’s become much easier to convince people that a video game movie can be done right.
“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 said. “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.”
The market for video game movies is certainly healthier than it once was. Pokemon Detective Pikachu debuted last week and set a record for a video game adaptation, so there’s certainly a high bar for PlayStation Productions to overcome.
What do you think of the formation of PlayStation Productions? Do you think they’ll do a good job of turning video games into movies and TV shows or are they more likely to stray into Uwe Boll territory? Let us know in the comments below!