In the past decade, deep learning methods have seen tremendous success in various supervised and unsupervised learning tasks such as classification and generative modeling. More recently, deep neural networks have emerged in the domain of reinforcement learning as a tool to solve decision-making problems of unprecedented complexity, e.g., navigation problems or game-playing AI. Despite the successful combinations of ideas from quantum computing with machine learning methods, there have been relatively few attempts to design quantum algorithms that would enhance deep reinforcement learning. This is partly due to the fact that quantum enhancements of deep neural networks, in general, have not been as extensively investigated as other quantum machine learning methods. In contrast, projective simulation is a reinforcement learning model inspired by the stochastic evolution of physical systems that enables a quantum speed-up in decision making. In this paper, we develop a unifying framework that connects deep learning and projective simulation, opening the route to quantum improvements in deep reinforcement learning. Our approach is based on so-called generative energy-based models to design reinforcement learning methods with a computational advantage in solving complex and large-scale decision-making problems.