Whatever your opinion on the current generation of consoles, I think we can all agree that Sony has managed to get a stellar run of PlayStation exclusives under its belt.
God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne, even Days Gone, depending on who you ask. Nearly all are gripping single-player experiences that managed to tell incredible stories that last long in the memory. I for one still think about the way God of War ended.
With that in mind, it’s probably cause for cautious optimism that Sony Interactive Entertainment is launching a brand new division called PlayStation Productions, which will be responsible for adapting some of the most popular PlayStation IPs into TV and film.
SIE chairman Shawn Layden in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
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.
PlayStation Productions will be led by SIE vice president of marketing, Asad Qizilbash. Qizilbash and SIE have stated that they feel it’s best for the company to open their own production company rather than license their IPs out to other studios, because they “know what the PlayStation community loves.”
It certainly makes sense. I mean, look at success Marvel found by creating its own studio. By retaining full creative control over its characters, it managed to produce an incredible run of films culminating in Avengers: Endgame, which is now officially the most successful film in history.
Both Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft have also made similar moves, though Sony undeniably has a richer catalogue of franchises to choose from. Who wouldn’t want a TV series based on The Last of Us or God of War from the people who know those characters best?
Layden seemed confident that PlayStation Productions won’t fall into the same bad habits as other video game adaptations, explaining to THR that you “you don’t try to retell the game in a movie.”
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.
It remains to be seen just how successful PlayStation Productions will be – Blizzard and Ubisoft’s film divisions haven’t exactly set the world on fire – but if the company is going to take a leaf out of anyone’s book, Marvel is a damn good place to start.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.