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February 23, 2020
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Sony launches PlayStation Productions to turn games into movies and TV shows

Sony launches PlayStation Productions to turn games into movies and TV shows

May 20, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Sony Interactive Entertainment has launched a new production studio called PlayStation Productions that will develop film and television projects based on the company's extensive video game catalog. 

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the fledgling studio will operate out of the Sony Studios lot in Culver City and will be led by PlayStation marketing veteran Asad Qizilbash. SIE Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden will also oversee the new venture, which has already begun work on its first slate of projects.

"We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories," said Layden, speaking to 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."

Highlighting the company's lofty ambitions, Layden explained PlayStation Productions will take some inspiration from Marvel in terms of how the Disney-owned film studio has turned some of its comic book properties into hugely popular movie franchises. 

Although he openly admitted achieving a similar level of success would be a big ask, he claimed the Hollywood landscape has slowly become more receptive to video game adaptations thanks in part to many of today's filmmakers having grown up with the medium. 

He also suggested that PlayStation Productions won't attempt to directly translate games to the big screen, but will instead look to capture the "ethos" of a franchise in a way that works for film or television.

"You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing," added Layden. "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." 

As you might expect, PlayStation Productions will also retain complete creative control over its projects, which means managing and controlling the process of finding the right director, the right screenwriter, and the right actors.

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