Comic book movies are all the rage these days, but video game movies have historically been entirely hit or miss. Detective Pikachu, based on the Pokemon series, is the latest example of a video game-based film that gets positive ratings and saw box office success, and more films based off polygons and pixels are hitting theaters later this year.
And Sony seems set on expanding its video game movie offerings, as it reportedly is opening a Playstation-adjacent movies studio to develop some of the gaming platform’s biggest hits into feature films.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment giant has started PlayStation Productions, a production company located on the Sony Pictures lot that will “mine” the console’s vast title library for potential movies.
In a story THR published on Monday, SIE chairman Shawn Layden explained that the company already has the wheels in motion on its first projects.
“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.”
With a library of more than 100 original properties ranging from adventure to sci-fi to action to mystery to horror, PlayStation Productions has a wide breadth of content ripe for adaptation. “Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves,” says Qizilbash. “One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
As THR notes, other video game companies like Activision and Blizzard have started film production studios looking to adapt their biggest franchises to the silver screen as well, so it’s not entirely unprecedented. Also it’s, uh, Sony, which has a background in all things entertainment. Layden noted that, while what Marvel has done to movies would be hard to replicate, Sony is hoping Playstation Productions can have a similar impact on video games inspiring big-budget films.
“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.”
Layden also noted that movies based off games could offer fans additional ways to engage in that universe while a game’s sequel is in the works. There’s no word on which titles the studio hopes to develop, but here’s hoping that Pop ‘n Pop movie you’ve always wanted is on the horizon.