We’re long past the days when a mediocre platformer would accompany every film that hit screens, but there are still a lot of licensed games on the horizon. Whether games like Marvel’s Avengers, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, or Blair Witch turn out well remains to be seen, but they’re much more ambitious and original takes on those respective properties.
With those titles in mind, the lead developer behind John Wick Hex believes the industry has wisened up to the fact that licensed games don’t have to be quick and dirty cash-ins. “I think there’s an understanding that we can do good licensed games,” Mike Bithell tells us. “There are these stories we can tell in an interesting way, and I think there’s a lot more variety that’s available.
“I don’t think the way people think of success anymore is to stick a license on a clone of a successful game. Innovation, time and again, has been demonstrated to be the approach to getting visibility. I think that’s not been lost on the publishers and the film industry.”
Certainly, if John Wick had come around a few years earlier, we might’ve ended up with a straight-up shooter rather than a semi-real-time strategy game focused on tactical murder.
John Wick Hex still doesn’t have a release date, but it will be an Epic Games store exclusive at launch.