Imagine you’re John Wick, a former hitman, feared and revered by everyone, forced back into the underworld to take down a whole Russian crime organization to avenge the life taken away from you…and now imagine yourself stepping into his shoes! You’re a man of focus and sheer will, and you once killed three guys in a bar with a pencil. You’re a dangerous badass with a distinct love for dogs and good taste in cars, as well as all sorts of wraponry and all-black dress attire.
In a move bringing cutting edge entertainment technology to one of its most exciting new brands, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, announced today that it is partnering with leading game developer and publisher Starbreeze (STAR:OMX) to launch a first-person shooter game in virtual reality (VR) based on Lionsgate’s box office hit John Wick. Best in class virtual reality studio and distributor WEVR, the company responsible for theBlu: Encounter, which was used to introduce the HTC Vive VR platform earlier this year, will transport players with the creation of a fully immersive VR experience that will introduce the game. Grab, the acclaimed development team with extensive mobile games and VR experience, will spearhead the development. Starbreeze will be publishing the product across multiple VR platforms.
The companies will team to create a standalone, first-person shooter game based on the world and characters of the John Wick films and centered around the infamous Continental Hotel. In addition, Starbreeze will further integrate the John Wick storyline into its wildly popular Payday game, which has over nine million players worldwide, facilitating cross promotion and integration of the two games. John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures and the movie’s production team will be collaborating closely with the WEVR and Grab teams for the development of the VR game and experience.
Starting soon, fans can check out a promotional experience of the game at select events and stops on the HTC Vive World Tour, which is making its way through the United States and Europe. A teaser game will be available at the launch of HTC Vive and available via SteamVR, with the launch timing to be unveiled later this year. The full game is expected to be available on most existing VR headsets in Spring 2016.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the best of the best in VR and game development with Starbreeze, WEVR and Grab, who are collaborating with the movie’s producers to ensure an exciting, immersive and authentic virtual experience,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “John Wick is the perfect cross-platform property to extend into the fast-growing gaming world, and we believe that a cutting edge VR game will deepen fan engagement and accelerate John Wick’s evolution into one of our next big action franchises.”
“Lionsgate is a leader in producing and delivering the kind of provocative, original and engaging storytelling that you need to launch an exhilarating and marketable game,” said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint. “The John Wick characters and universe really resonated with our Payday fans last year when we first incorporated them into our game, so we’re thrilled to partner with the studio and the John Wick creative team to create a new standalone game enhanced by the state of the art in virtual reality.”
“Lionsgate has been a great partner on John Wick because the studio not only believes in traditional storytelling but also recognizes the value of extending its movies beyond the screen and involving fans in new ways to explore the characters and stories,” said producer and Thunder Road Pictures CEO Iwanyk. “Working with accomplished gaming companies like Starbreeze, WEVR and Grab is a terrific opportunity to bring the world of John Wick into an exciting new dimension.”
John Wick was a global box office hit last year, and Lionsgate is currently developing John Wick 2 for release next September. The film stars Keanu Reeves as an ex-hit man who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters who took everything from him.