What if video game movies and TV shows could be good? That's the idea behind PlayStation Productions, a new Sony studio that's working to adapt PlayStation's many cherished video game franchises for film and television. We've heard all kinds of reasons why this video game movie or the other will break the streak of awful-to-middling adaptations over the years (just see what the best video game movies have managed to come up with), but PlayStation Productions may have the best shot yet.
"Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves," PlayStation Productions head Asad Qizilbash told The Hollywood Reporter. "One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves."
Game companies typically license out their video game properties to established studios for the purposes of screen adaptations. PlayStation Productions skips that step, keeping its projects internal not just to Sony but to the PlayStation brand. You could think of it as the difference between a full first-party Marvel Studios production like Avengers: Endgame versus a project that Marvel works with on licensing out to another company, like Dark Phoenix. Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden made the connection himself.
"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."
PlayStation Productions is already working on its first set of projects, though Sony isn't saying anything about what franchises they're looking to adapt first or whether they're headed to the big or small screen (Qizilbash said it will always depend on what medium best fits each story). Layden teased a bit more about what Sony's goal for PlayStation Productions is for its adaptations, which may give you some clues about what's on the docket.
"We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touchpoints with our franchises," says Layden. "When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways."
Check out our list of upcoming video game movies for some more adaptations that you can eagerly anticipate and/or dread. Or see what's new in games and entertainment this week with our latest Release Radar video.