Video games don’t have a wonderful track record with film adaptations, but Sony announced PlayStation Productions, a studio dedicating to bring the company’s franchise to film and television, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new production team will be overseen by Sony Interactive Entertainment Chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden and Vice President of Marketing Asad Qizilbash.
Despite the history of games heading to big or small screens, it seems like a prime time to be making the attempt. Detective Pikachu delivered the first live-action take on Pokémon, Sonic the Hedgehog is undergoing a redesign before hitting theaters, and The Witcher is headed to Netflix in a series led by Henry Cavill.
“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,” Layden said. “It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that.”
Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive success, but the comic-based film universe is known for how it has been handcuffed from using specific characters because of Marvel Comics selling the licenses to different production studios. PlayStation Productions will be avoiding that problem and keeping things in-house.
“Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves,” Qizilbash said. “One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
There’s no timetable on when Sony will reveal the first PlayStation Productions project and Layden said that Sony Pictures isn’t rushing them. “The company has been very accommodating to our ambition around this, to grow this in a measured, thoughtful way,” he said.
Qizilbash shared with the publication that PlayStation Productions has been in the works for years as the team spoke with writers, directors, and producers in an effort to better understand the industry. Sony also made a recent move to partner with Microsoft, tapping the company’s massive cloud-computing platform Azure in lieu of attempting to maintain its own. There are a couple of moves that could see the PlayStation brand skyrocket in the next generation.