Legendary Entertainment acquired film and TV rights to Frank Herbert’s Dune in 2016. It was reported soon after that Denis Villeneuve would direct a film adaptation of the seminal sci-fi book. Now, Funcom has secured rights to make a new Dune game.
Funcom announced a deal with Legendary Entertainment and Herbert Properties LLC to license Dune and create new video games in that sci-fi universe. Funcom’s Oslo studio is set to begin development on at least one Dune video game later this year. That studio recently released Conan Exiles on PS4, PC and Xbox One.
Funcom’s announcement explicitly says “video games” meaning we might be seeing a multitude of Dune video games in the coming years. The series has had a tumultuous relationship with the medium, beginning in 1992’s Dune adventure strategy game. Dune 2, also released in 1992 and later subtitled Battle For Arrakis is considered the first mainstream real-time strategy game. Dune 2 established a number of conventions that are now staples of the genre.
Dune 2000 was a remake of Dune 2 with live-action cutscenes and improved graphics. It was released in 1998 by Intelligent Games and Virgin Interactive. Emperor: Battle for Dune was a real-time strategy game, casting players as either Atreides, Harkonnen, or Ordos. Frank Herbert’s Dune was released in 2001 and was a critical and commercial failure. It was the last game released using the Dune license.
Legendary Entertainment’s Dune movie is set to release in November 2020. Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) is directing the star-studded cast of the adaptation. Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides alongside Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Harkonnen, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, and Javier Bardem as Stilgar. Villeneuve said his ambition is “to do the Star Wars movie I never saw. In a way, it’s Star Wars for adults.”