PlayStation is working with Sony Pictures and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to make a “VR experience” for the popular television show, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America Shawn Layden tells Polygon.
“We're working with Sony Pictures and Vince Gilligan to bring a Breaking Bad VR experience out,” Layden told Polygon in a wide-ranging, embargoed interview last month. “I don't know what it's going to be. No idea what it's going to do, but they're very keen at looking at virtual reality as the new medium. It's not an extension. It's not an upgrade of a current medium. It's a brand new platform and movie directors and film directors are going to have to learn new disciplines in order to tell their story in that kind of a world where the viewer's got completely free agency on where they go, where they look, what they see.”
Layden couldn’t comment further on what exactly the experience would be or whether it would simply recreate something from the existing content of the show or add something new to it.
The idea for the upcoming experience came out of an event PlayStation held on their San Mateo campus about a year ago, Layden said.
“We brought in 10 or a dozen show runners from Hollywood,” he said. “You know, all the big name guys. You know, Ron Moore from Galactica and [Frank] Darabont from The Walking Dead. We had Vince Gilligan come up, you know, the guy who did Breaking Bad.
“To each individual, when they took the headset off, they each shouted an expletive and followed that with, ‘Wow, this just blows up narrative. How do we, how do we create in this kind of world where I can't point the camera and make you look where I want you to look or see what I want you to see.’ But then, of course, you've got their creative juices flowing, if you will.
“Sony Pictures is doing a lot of work in the non-game space.”
Jim Ryan, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and president of global sales and marketing for SIE, said that while historically there has been a distinction between an interactive gaming experience, entertainment experience, gaming, and a non-interactive entertainment experience, that’s changing.
“With VR, that line really can start to blur,” he said. “So one example. There was a, what was that movie called? The Walk.
“They made a VR experience and it involved a rope laid out on the floor.”
Four out of ten people who tried it, Layden interjected, couldn’t do it.
“But is that a game?” Ryan said. “It's going to be really interesting as that sort of clear line that's existed for all these years, that boundary, is just going to break down.”