Hollywood syncs up game-to-entertainment pipeline
Future. Hollywood studios are turning to film and TV adaptations of popular video games for the next frontier of blockbusters. As A-list talent takes on boundary-pushing projects, video game franchises could easily become this decade’s superhero phenomenon.
Play the hits
Sony is building out home-grown franchises: video game to film and TV adaptations.
- Recently, film-and-TV-focused Sony Pictures Entertainment and PlayStation-focused Sony Interactive have started working together more closely.
- On the film side, the studio is starting with the $120 million adaptation of Uncharted starring Tom Holland. On TV, there’s the prestigious adaptation of The Last of Us from Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann, and HBO.
- The studio has adaptations of Ghosts of Tsushima and Twisted Metal in the hopper as well.
The change happened after Kenichiro Yoshida took the reins as CEO at Sony in 2018 and mandated that the two independent arms work together… ultimately hoping that Sony’s PlayStation Network could be a backdoor way of starting a film and TV streaming service.
Just a feeling
But it’s not just Sony that’s getting in on the action: Lionsgate has Borderlands, Amazon has Fallout, Netflix has The Witcher, and Paramount+ has Halo. Each one of these projects are huge, blockbuster works that show that each studio is pushing in the chips that video games are the next IP goldmine that audiences crave. It’s perfect timing given how popular video gaming became just last year.
So what’s spurring on so much faith and investment in the video-game space for the next entertainment hit? There are two schools of thought: either 1) game stories have become, according to Sony movie chief Sanford Panitch, “more developed and advanced,” or 2) adaptations just need to capture the spirit of playing the game, much like Pokémon Detective Pikachu did (to the tune of $433 million worldwide).