You can probably count the number of excellent video game-to-movie adaptions on one hand, which is an awful shame considering the quality of storytelling on show in some of the modern gaming classics out there.
Now it seems Sony is looking to change that, by setting up PlayStation Productions, which will see the company adapt some of its 100-odd original gaming properties for film or television. The first set of projects are already in production, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which doesn’t have any specifics on which games are set for expansion into a new medium.
In an interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden says the decision is geared to giving 25-year library of stories a new lease of life.
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“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories,” Layden said. “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.”
The man heading up the operation is Asad Qizilbash, who says Sony has made the decision to develop its own IP, rather than license to other film studios. He says the familiarity with what PlayStation lovers are seeking played a major role in the decision.
Qizilbash says: “Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves. One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.
“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 added the success of Marvel in developing its own movies, compared with the mixed bag created by various major Hollywood studios also inspired Sony to go it alone.
“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.”
The announcement could clear the way for first-party games like Uncharted, The Last of Us, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon and God Of War to transfer to the silver screen.