The last year has been a rough but profitable one for PlayStation. Since the release of the PS5 in November 2020, demand for the console is at an all-time high (something outlined by Sony themselves just last week) and with a slate of high-profile studio acquisitions from Blue Point to Bungie, Sony is making big moves in these first few years.

One area they seem keen on expanding is their multimedia landscape. Compared to Microsoft, Sony’s biggest appeal is their staple line of IP: Ratchet and Clank, Killzone, God of War, The Last of Us, this list could go on for a very long time, but it showcases the strength of the PlayStation IP. These are franchises that people love, and franchises that Sony hopes will allow them to expand into television and film.

Alongside the reveal of several key pieces of data, Jim Ryan recently revealed that there are several PlayStation IPs currently being adapted to the screen. HBO’s The Last of Us is one that we have known about for some time now, but it is now being joined by SIE Santa Monica’s God of War (being helmed by Amazon Prime Video), Guerrilla Games’ Horizon series (being made by Netflix) and a Gran Turismo movie production. This is alongside the Twisted Metal television show, the Ghost of Tsushima movie, and the recent release of the Uncharted movie.

Sony continues to make big moves into the world outside of video games and it is an interesting endeavour: video games generally haven’t been the best for on-screen adaptation, but with Sony’s keen eye for storytelling and memorable experiences, perhaps they can break the cycle.

Let’s have a look at their upcoming portfolio and take a guess at what each production could be about.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Guerrilla Games, Horizon: Zero Dawn

Possibly the most surprising entry into the television space is that of Guerrilla Games’ Horizon series, currently housing both Horizon: Zero Dawn and Horizon: Forbidden West. While it may seem odd, Horizon has been one of PlayStation’s biggest money makers as of late and a figurehead for the PS5 (Jim Ryan even revealed that the port of Horizon: Zero Dawn to PC has made $60 million) so turning it into a television programme seems natural.

PlayStation’s PC Revenue, Official Sony Presentation

As for what it could be about, there are two core options. The first is a retelling of the original Horizon: Zero Dawn streamlined for TV, whereas the other follows the more recent Halo TV show on Paramount + and simply uses the world and characters as a backdrop for a new universe. Part of me hopes that it is the former, as the latter has been met with much controversy and vitriol as of late for how they handled preestablished elements of the game-fiction.

If the show seeks to be a retelling of the original story, it could honestly help aid it in several ways. More time could be spent with Alloy as she interacts with other people (including her foster father at the start of the game) and it could build up her relationship with the world more. The tribes are a super interesting part of Horizon’s world and so seeing them come to life with more characters and individuals to interact with in a streamlined setting could be cool.

Unfortunately, this show more than most is going to face trouble. A key part of Horizon is the robotic creatures who stalk the lands: they are the game for a lot of people. As a result, a lot of the show’s budget will need to go towards the CGI and animations so that these creatures will look accurate and if they don’t, then these robots will either have to be massively stripped back… or they’ll look terrible.

Despite this, Horizon has the opportunity to be a great fit for television and could bring a lot of new eyes to the series.

Related: PlayStation Plus Has To Do Better To Compete

Gran Turismo

Another strange pick. Compared to the AAA powerhouses that Sony usually puts out that are filled to the brim with rich stories and characters, Gran Turismo is a series about racing… a series just about racing.

Several key television shows have showcased, however, that the subject matter can revolve around something like racing if all other parts are good enough: Netflix’s F1: Drive to Survive has been a massive hit, even with non-racing fans. Competitiveness, strife, knuckle-whitening tension, it’s all a core part of the sport and so turning that into an enjoyable film is quite easy.

More about the project can be gleaned about the person Sony eyes as director: Neil Blomkamp. Usually, Blomkamp directs sci-fi and action-orientated movies, with arguably his most prolific being District 9: a brutal commentary on apartheid in South Africa using alien settlers as a figurehead. Putting him as the heart of a film about racing seems like an odd fit, but it does potentially signal that Sony wants the film to be much more grim or serious in tone (if they want him for his work on District 9 or other films like Elysium). They may also want him for his unique directing style, too, with the shaky hands-on camera of some of his works feeling appropriate in a film set within the world of claustrophobic racing rooms and squashed car seats.

There is room for potential here, possibly because Sony can use a recognizable name without the baggage of sticking to preestablished character arcs or development like with many of their other series. Whatever the case, this is worth keeping an eye on.

God of War

Finally, here is possibly the most anticipated one.

SIE Santa Monica, God of War (2018)

We’ve known about this for a while, that a God of War television show was in the works at Prime Video. The rumour is that it is being eyed by the creators of The Expanse, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

God of War has easily become one of PlayStation’s juggernauts, especially since the release of God of War (2018) which saw an aged, grizzled Kratos forced into similar shoes as Joel from The Last of Us: escorting his son through the dangers of the Norse Lands as they aim to spread the boy’s mother’s ashes on the highest peak in all the realms. Hype for the upcoming God of War: Ragnarök is through the roof as people eagerly anticipate the next leg of Kratos and Atreus’ journey, so a television show makes a ton of sense.

There is some confusion about when the series will take place, as most predict that it will follow the story of the 2018 God of War, which is actually the 4th mainline title after the initial trilogy which took place in Greece. If they do decide to follow the most recent game, an interesting take could be drawn: many gamers already knew who Kratos was going into God of War (2018) and so people related to him far more than Atreus.

With a new crowd and a new audience of regular television watchers, a new perspective may be focused on – Atreus’. If the show takes place from the boy’s perspective, slowly revealing Kratos’ dark past in Greece and his identity as a God from another land, it could be far more impactful and interesting than just regurgitating the story of the games.

Or they could forget that Kratos is a Greek God entirely and just make him a Norse God which would be… terrible.

Video games finally feel like they are finding their feet in adapted media: the Sonic the Hedgehog films are both great and box office successes, Uncharted made a ton of money, television shows like Arcane wowed absolutely everyone that saw it and many others. There are many uncertainties ahead, especially regarding shows such as Twisted Metal (which is getting a show for… some reason) which seem to be having rocky developments, but overall, the future looks bright for video game adaptions.

Let’s just hope that PlayStation’s newest group of adapted IPs stick to the landing.

Check out another article from us at 9 to 5 Gamers here!

Jack Carson

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