After Denis Villeneuve, Funcom Brings the Dune Universe Back to Life

I remember fighting with my father over the only PC capable of running games more than 20 years ago. He was in love with the XCOM series while I was addicted to spice, Dune’s spice. Over the years, my addiction to Dune turned into a passion for real-time strategy games.
Dune: Spice Wars logo 10 photos
Photo: Funcom
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Unfortunately, the wave of real-time strategy games died down soon after Dune 2000 was released, the main reason we didn't have another Dune game in such a long time. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t play any of the older games today, but I’d definitely be onboard for a brand-new Dune game.

I recently learned that Funcom, the Norwegian developer behind MMORPG Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, and The Secret World, entered into an exclusive partnership with Legendary Entertainment for games in the Dune universe.

Moreover, Funcom announced early this month it has signed a deal with development studio Nukklear for an upcoming Dune survival game. In fact, I was completely disappointed to hear that Funcom, now owned by Chinese giant Tencent, bought the Dune rights just to make an online multiplayer game.

To my surprise, that’s not the only Dune game in the works at Funcom. During The Game Awards 2021 show, the studio revealed what we’ve all been waiting for, a 4X real-time strategy game in the Dune universe.

The game is called Dune: Spice Wars and is based on Frank Herbert’s novel. It’s developed by Shiro Games, the same studio that made the critically acclaimed real-time strategy Northgard in 2017.

Apart from the teaser trailer that doesn’t show any gameplay, we’ve been given several screenshots from the game and a bunch of info that describe what I think it’s classic real-time strategy gameplay.

Dune: Spice Wars will feature several playable factions, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Players will have other means at their disposal to take control of the spice on Arrakis, including deployment of agents to sabotage, assassination and spy operations, or even political influence.

More importantly, Dune: Spice Wars will be released into early access on PC sometime next year. During early access, developers will shape the game based on the community’s feedback.

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