Digital Playground Goes Blu-ray With <i>Pirates</i>

VAN NUYS, Calif. - Digital Playground is gearing up to release its adult blockbuster Pirates on Blu-ray disc. Shipping to retailers on Jan. 4, the disc marks DP's first venture into the Sony-backed high definition format.

The Blu-ray disc will present Pirates for the first time in a 1080p high definition transfer. Digital Playground previously issued the movie in a 3-disc set containing an HD version of the feature at 720p.

"Everything on the Blu-ray is 1080p, including the movie, the BTS, the bloopers and other extra features," said Pirates director Joone, co-founder of Digital Playground. "This is the first time the consumer will be able to see Pirates with this image quality."

Digital Playground drew worldwide media attention this year when Joone told reporters at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo that difficulties with replication were keeping adult producers away from Blu-ray. With Sony and Disney dominating licensed Blu-ray replication, corporate policies and prohibitive costs prevented Digital Playground and other porn studios from tapping into the market.

The situation has since changed, according to Joone, and Digital Playground has slated numerous titles to follow Pirates into release on Blu-ray in 2008.

"There are more independent replicators that are willing to work with adult material," Joone told AVN. "For us, Blu-ray is now making business sense."

Vivid became the first adult studio to release a fully licensed Blu-ray disc earlier this year with Debbie Does Dallas...Again, but Digital Playground has held off until now.


“We were waiting for the right relationship with our replicator," Joone said. "We’ve also been working on getting the right encoding. We do everything in-house; some of the releases on Blu-ray now are using the old MPEG-2 encoding, where we’re using H264 which is the highest quality codec you can get."

AVN asked Joone for his current view of the competition between HD DVD and Blu-ray.

"You know, it’s very much neck and neck right now," he said. "We've got this holiday season [to gauge the market], and then we need to look at the numbers this coming year; in 2008, we’ll have a better idea of which direction it’s going to go. It might become like XBox and PlayStation – you have Xbox to play Halo, and Playstation for Final Fantasy, so you buy both along with the appropriate content for each one."


Shot on location in California and off the coast of Florida by Digital Playground and Adam & Eve, Pirates has spent over 100 weeks on AVN's Retail Buzz chart. The movie captured the Best-Selling and Best-Renting trophies at the 2007 AVN Awards, a full two years after its premiere in September 2005.

“We’re excited to release Pirates on Blu-ray," said Digital Playground CEO Samantha Lewis. "In today’s high-definition market, our priority has always been consumer choice. We believe it’s important to allow the consumer the option to make a purchase regardless of format. We look forward to preparing new titles for release in the Blu-ray format.”

Among the extras on the Blu-ray disc is a high definition teaser for Pirates 2.

Joone told AVN that Digital Playground plans to make "a big surprise announcement" about the mega-sequel at the upcoming 2008 AEE.

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