2K Games on Monday announced a deal with Playboy to use some the iconic magazine's vintage covers and centerfold photos to set the mood in its "Mafia II' videogame.

"While most mob-inspired games' emphasis is solely on action, 'Mafia II' features a deep and compelling narrative that is embellished with a sophisticated, era-evoking atmosphere," said 2K president Christoph Hartmann.

"In partnering with Playboy, we are able to add a unique element of authenticity to the game by using vintage images from the magazine that illustrate the power of Playboy's influence on the attitudes and culture of that generation."

2K will weave cover and centerfold shots into the mobster videogame, which plays out in a fictional US city of Empire Bay, described as combining aspects of New York City and San Francisco.

The game is set in a "dark and unforgiving world of the Mafia" in the 1940s and 1950s, according to 2K.

As players guide characters through the game they will be able to collect virtual versions of Playboy, a magazine for men that Hugh Hefner founded in late 1953.

"For more than 55 years, Playboy has been a part of America's pop culture landscape, engaging its readers with insightful features, interviews and fashion spreads, as well as pictorials of some of the world's most beautiful women," said Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek.

"Mafia II is set when Playboy first came into vogue and features characters whose style and attitudes mirror content from our early issues."

The mobster videogame sequel by 2K is slated for release in the second half of this year.