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'Zero Dark Thirty' to be promoted in 'Medal of Honor' video game

September 10, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • An image from the video game "Medal of Honor Warfighter."
An image from the video game "Medal of Honor Warfighter." (Electronic Arts )

In an unusual marketing partnership, Electronic Arts will promote the upcoming film "Zero Dark Thirty," about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, with a pair of downloadable maps for its military video game "Medal of Honor Warfighter."

Although the video game will be released in stores in October, EA will make the digital content available on Dec. 19, during the same week that "Zero Dark Thirty" is scheduled to hit theaters. The "Medal of Honor Zero Dark Thirty Map Pack" will cost $9.99.

Promoting movies in partnership with video games is not a new phenomenon. Last year, a trailer for Relativity Media's Navy SEAL film, "Act of Valor", was promoted on the website for EA's "Battlefield 3." Players who watched the trailer received digital dog tags for their character to wear in the game.

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Creating new downloadable content tied to a movie is new, however. It illustrates the ability for video game companies to use digital distribution to forge marketing tie-ins, as they can time the relevant release for whenever it is most advantageous.

The maps included in the "Zero Dark Thirty" pack are inspired by real locations used in the film. One is the Darra gun market in Pakistan; the other is in the Chitral region in the far north of that nation.

Directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty" was financed by producer Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures and is being released by Sony Pictures. 

EA said that for each "Zero Dark Thirty"-themed map pack sold, it will donate $1 to nonprofit organizations that support veterans, part of a larger commitment by the company to give at least $1 million to such causes.

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