Sony Bend's Days Gone to receive film adaptation
Days Gone, the post-apocalyptic zombie game from Sony Bend, is becoming a movie. Originally reported by Deadline, the PlayStation 4 game is said to receive an adaptation starring Outlander’s Sam Heughan. Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) will pen the screenplay, reported to be a “love ballad to motorcycle movies.”
Originally released in 2019, Days Gone puts players in the boots of biker Deacon St. John in Oregon following a zombie outbreak. Amidst a mixed reception at launch, the game has had an interesting post-launch life. Through achievement tracking websites, game director Jeff Ross determined that it sold 9 million copies across its releases on PlayStation 4 and Steam.
Sony Bend originally announced its game in 2016, and the title’s development process caused the studio size to double from 45 employees to 103.
Though Days Gone was something of a commercial success, Sony didn’t give the greenlight for a sequel due to the original game’s lukewarm feelings and long development period. In a 2021 report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the publisher’s desire for blockbuster, triple-A titles was a notable point of contention amongst Sony’s first-party developers.
Play the game, watch the movie, play the game again…?
Days Gone may seem like a strange pick for a film adaptation, until you remember that Sony is very interested in making its first-party titles into films and TV.
The Uncharted movie, based on Naughty Dog’s franchise and starring Tom Holland, earned $402 million at the box office earlier this year. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is still set to become a TV series for HBO.
Sony Santa Monica’s God of War reboot, along with Guerrilla Games’ Horizon franchise, are both due to receive TV adaptations in the near future. And Sucker Punch’s samurai title Ghost of Tsushima will become a film helmed by John Wick director Chad Stahelski.
That Sony is choosing to let Days Gone live through another medium is interesting, given how it didn’t become one of Sony’s bigger hits. And while zombies are popular in games, they’ve truly taken off in film and TV lately with The Walking Dead’s ever growing universe and Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead franchise. Perhaps Sony’s determined the medium of film is better fit for Sony Bend’s zombie game rather than a second game.