Today, Funcom announced that it will be making games based on the Dune series. The developer has closed a licensing agreement with Legendary Entertainment and Herbert Properties LLC, the estate of Dune creator Frank Herbert. Development of the first game will begin later this year at Funcom's main Oslo studio.
"Funcom has a strong history of working with beloved sci-fi/fantasy intellectual properties including our bestsellers Age of Conan and Conan Exiles," said Funcom CEO Rui Casais. "So many of us at Funcom, myself included, are huge fans of Frank Herbert's work and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Legendary to bring the iconic DUNE universe to life for gamers all over the globe."
Legendary Entertainment is currently collaborating with Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve on a film adaptation of the first Dune novel. That film has already cast Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. Warner Bros will be distributing the film, with a planned release on November 20, 2020. There's no word on whether the Funcom game will be based directly on the film, or use the actor likenesses.
Funcom's planned title won't be the first Dune game. The first release was Dune for PC in 1992, which mixed a LucasArts-style adventure game with strategy elements. The most famous title came the same year, with Dune II from Westwood Studios, seen by many as a keystone in the real-time strategy genre. Westwood would follow its work on Dune II with the classic Command & Conquer franchise. Dune II saw a remake in 1998 with the oddly named Dune 2000. 2001 featured two Dune games, a Dune 2000 follow-up called Emperor: Battle for Dune, and Frank Herbert's Dune, a 3D action game based roughly on the Sci Fi Channel series of the same name.