PlayStation Opens Film And TV Studio To Make Franchise-Based Entertainment

More like WatchStation am I right.


Sony has opened a new studio to produce film and TV projects based on its games. The newly created PlayStation Productions will be headed by Asad Qizilbash, who previously served the company as a marketing VP for exclusive games.

THR reports that the studio has already started to set up shop and begin its first projects in the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, California. Sony Pictures will also help with distribution. The initiative is being overseen by Sony Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden. The studio will pull from its library of exclusive games, but specific projects have not been named.

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"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."

Qizilbash said the studio startup has looked at the Marvel model for inspiration, and even spoke with Marvel producer Kevin Feige, along with other producers like Lorenzo di Bonaventura from the Transformers franchise.

Layden says that its studio will be different, since it's approaching with a fuller understanding of the games and their audiences.

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

He also said the studio hopes to create touch points for fans of their franchises that will help them enjoy the world in between sequels. Though the studio didn't detail how many of their projects are aimed for film versus television, Qizilbash said it will "bring our IP for the medium that best honors the property." The partnership with Sony Pictures will give the fledgling studio more leeway to get off the ground.

"This is a passion project for me," says Layden. "To be the first gaming entity to do something lasting and meaningful in a completely different medium is something I'd like to see us achieve here at PlayStation Productions."

PlayStation is expanding its brand into movies just as it changes how it engages with video game audiences. It is skipping the annual video game expo E3 this year, and has started a series of direct streams called State of Play. It also has started to detail its plans for the PlayStation 5.

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