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John Wick is headed to computer screens.
The hitman played by Keanu Reeves in the forthcoming John Wick film is becoming a playable character in online game Payday 2. The special character is part of a pack of branded game content — which also includes new in-game perks, weapons and customizable sunglasses that the character can wear — being made available for an upcoming episode of Payday 2 on Oct. 22 in advance of the film’s Oct. 24 premiere.
The deal was struck by distributor Lionsgate and producer Thunder Road Pictures with the game’s developer Starbreeze Studios and publisher 505 Games. The branded content was developed for Payday 2 by Overkill Software, a Starbreeze studio.
“We’re big fans of Payday 2 and the team at Starbreeze, and we’re thrilled to kick off our partnership with such a cool movie,” said Lionsgate executive vp digital marketing Danielle DePalma. “The hyper-real action sequences in the film almost make you feel like you’re watching an insane video game, so we cannot wait to see John Wick in theaters as well as experience him in the game.”
Watch more ‘John Wick’ Trailer 2
Added Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint: “We’ve finally got a real hitman on our team. Being able to play as John Wick in Payday 2 ahead of the movie’s release is a great reward for our loyal Payday 2 community.”
Payday 2, a four-player co-op shooter that asks gamers to don the masks of a group of criminals as they go on a crime spree through Washington, D.C., is available for download through Steam, a social networking platform and game distribution system with more than 100 million active users. The John Wick free update is part of a 12-day celebration to mark that Payday 2 has reached 1.5 million members.
Moviegoers who purchase tickets to John Wick through Fandango will receive a free download of Payday 2 on Steam.
This deal is part of Lionsgate’s growing gaming division led by former Nerdist Industries CEO Peter Levin. Since joining the company in April, he has led Lionsgate’s investment in Finnish gaming startup Next Games and brokered a partnership with developer Kabam to create a Hunger Games mobile game.
“Lionsgate’s entry into the game space is continuing to build momentum with the addition of another great partner and a tremendous piece of IP,” Levin said. “We’re delighted to capitalize on this opportunity to collaborate with a world-class partner like Starbreeze whose unique action community includes millions of our target fans.”
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