Business Insider (Aus), August 8, 2015

You'll soon be able to play as Keanu Reeves' action hero John Wick in virtual reality

by Dave Smith

Did you like last year’s Keanu Reeves action flick “John Wick”? Odds are you did — it was a huge box office hit and critically acclaimed. But even if you didn’t, there’s a chance you could better enjoy his adventures if you actually lived them yourself.

That’s right, “John Wick” is about to become a virtual reality game. Specifically, it will be a first-person shooter that lets you experience life as the titular assassin who’s forced to come out of retirement after being provoked by violent mobsters.

In the Friday press release from game publisher Starbreeze Studios, which partnered with “John Wick” producer Lionsgate on this game, “multiple VR platforms,” including the upcoming HTC Vive, will introduce “the world and characters of the John Wick films” next spring.

This move seems beneficial for several parties: Starbreeeze, Lionsgate, John Wick fans, and fans and creators for virtual reality could all benefit from a quality John Wick experience on an entirely new form of computing and entertainment.

As Keanu Reeves and co. are currently working on a “John Wick” sequel coming next September, this cross-platform game will promote the films, the franchise, but also the virtual reality platforms that are launching early next year, including HTC’s Vive. HTC will demo this game during its upcoming World Tour, where they will drive trucks around North America and Europe to let people try their new VR platform.

Virtual reality platforms need all the attention they can get before they start going mainstream early next year: Today’s gadgets are easy to advertise because we can see what they can do, but it’s impossible to understand virtual reality unless you actually try it in person.

That said, I tried HTC’s virtual reality headset last month, which will work with this “John Wick” VR game, and I was totally blown away. I’m convinced we’re on the verge of a major change in computing, and these kinds of entertainment experiences in VR are going to pave the way for further developments and applications down the road, in almost every single industry, from medicine to retail to education.

In the short-term, Starbreeze will integrate John Wick’s storyline into its popular “Payday” game, which is a first-person shooter developed by Overkill Software that’s centered on performing heists. But that will only serve as an appetizer to the main course, which we look forward to trying before its launch on VR headsets next spring.

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