For anyone who may think the action in Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick” plays out like a video game, they’re in luck: The hit man will become available as a free downloadable character to integrate into “Payday 2.”
The free update, available two days before the film’s release, is a pretty imaginative marketing move from Lionsgate.
Instead of spending considerable coin to create a full game based on the film, the company will instead offer up its lead to gamers — the same male demo the studio is looking to target with the hardcore actioner.
“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,” said Danielle DePalma, Lionsgate executive VP of digital marketing.
“Payday 2,” distributed by 505 Games, has players run around Washington, D.C., as they carry out heists like bank robberies and drug traffic runs with a team. John Wick will become part of the team. The game is a sequel to 2011’s “Payday: The Heist.”
“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,” said Peter Levin, Lionsgate’s president of interactive ventures and games. “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.”
Starbreeze Studio’s Overkill Software created the downloadable version of John Wick, available on the Steam platform, working closely with the film’s producers at Thunder Road Pictures. Download also includes the “Hitman” perk, providing the ability to wield dual weapons; a new pistol and knife; three kinds of sunglasses.
Moviegoers purchasing tickets to “John Wick” on Fandango will also receive a free download of “Payday 2” on Steam.
“We continue working with great partners, this time with Lionsgate and their movie ‘John Wick,’” said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint. “We’ve finally got a real hitman on our team.”
The character joins the game as “Payday 2’s” creators are about to launch a 12-day “Crimefest” event, which will involve 1.5 million members of the “Payday 2” community on Steam.