The saga of Walter White may not be over just yet.
Details on the project are still scarce. Sony won’t discuss which talent are attached to the experience, won’t say whether it will be episodic or a one-off or give a firm launch window (other than confirming it won’t release this year). While it’s still in the early stages, though, Gilligan is reportedly eager to explore storytelling in VR.
“We set up a day at our campus where we brought seven of the best show runners [Sony Pictures Television] work with, like David Shore of ‘The Blacklist’ and Ron Moore, who did ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ Vince and some other folks,” says Andrew House, global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company’s video game division. “And they just played around with VR. Several of them were intrigued, but Vince was the one who said, ‘I really want to do something with this. I want to experiment with this.'”
Because production tools for live-action 360 video are still primitive, the experience will be assembled using computer graphics and Sony’s game team will work with Gilligan to realize his vision.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has increasingly been exploring areas beyond video games to expand its reach. In 2015, the division and Sony Pictures Television teamed to create “Powers,” an adaptation of the popular comic book and the first scripted PlayStation original program. The show ran for two seasons. (Sony cancelled it on Aug. 3, 2016.)
The unit also oversees PlayStation Vue, an over-the-top streaming service that House says has the highest retention rate of any network service offerings (including PlayStation Plus, and PlayStation Music). While House declined to give subscription numbers, he did say PlayStation Vue now has more users on non-PlayStation devices than on the gaming console. And monthly viewership among 18-34 year olds is 140 hours, roughly twice the national average for that demographic.
With collaborations like the one with Gilligan, it’s hoping to push virtual reality to that same level of public appeal.
“I think [this] could be another interesting way to see how VR can drive towards the mainstream,” says House.