After years of ill reputation, big-screen video game adaptations seem to be returning into vogue, with studios now increasingly willing to cash in on well-known, big-selling properties with the recent successes of fare like Tomb Raider and Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Instead of being seen as the sovereign territory of B-movie trash, game IPs are now ready-built franchises in a Hollywood era hungry for them.
Given that Sony is in both the film and video game businesses, it makes eminent sense that they’d leverage one in service of the other. In that spirit, The Hollywood Reporter breaks news that Sony Interactive Entertainment has now launched Playstation Productions, a studio that will look to bring the 100+ properties owned by the game company to television and film. Studio head Asad Qizilbash notes that “Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, 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.”
The studio will distribute its films through Sony Pictures, but will handle all production in-house, and has reportedly already begun production on several projects. Among the properties owned by Sony are Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted (which has had rumors of a film adaptation circling it for years now), God of War, The Last of Us, Spyro the Dragon, and many more.
This is the kind of news that induces a lot of mixed feelings at once. Look, we want to see a hyper-stylized Twisted Metal flick as much as anybody. But on the other hand, it’s the latest in a series of industry manuevers designed to make sure that the market continues to flood with franchise-friendly adaptations, remakes, and spin-offs. But hey, if everything’s getting a cinematic universe these days, let’s see some batshit Metal Gear Solid movies already.