There are going to be a lot of live-action adaptations of video games on the horizon. Nintendo is currently partnering up with Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, to make an animated Super Mario Bros. movie. Microsoft is letting Showtime create a Halo TV series, and Netflix is currently working on an adaptation of The Witcher series with Henry Cavill (Man of Steel). Sony seems to want to jump on this trend, as the company announced that they have opened a Film/TV studio to create adaptations of their games.
Announced in an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Playstation Productions will be headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by the chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden. The studio already has projects in the works and is now located at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City.
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories,” Layden tells 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…” Qizibash adds by saying, “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.”
Layden and Qizilbash believe that the diversity of PlayStation’s library will act as one of the production studios major selling points. Layden tells Hollywood Reporter that “We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises. 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.”
When asked if Playstation Production will focus on films or TV shows more, Qizilbash says it will depend on the title.
“Ultimately, the story will determine the format. We want to bring our IP to the medium that best honors the property,” he says. Layden stresses that quality is key, as it is for the company’s games division. “It has to stand up as a great movie or TV show,” he says. “That’s really the only standard that we’d measure it against. In that medium, is it going to be best in class?”
Shawn Layden announced that he would talk about the ongoing development of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios at the Collision Conference in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday.