'Dune: Awakening' is an open-world survival MMO set on Arrakis

Polycount

Posts: 3,017   +590
Staff member
In context: It's been a while since a new sci-fi franchise took the world by storm, but 2021's Dune reboot certainly hit that mark. After earning more than $400 million at the box office (with a budget of just $165 million), Dune has spread its influence to the gaming industry, courtesy of developer Funcom's exclusive partnership with Legendary Entertainment.

While movie-licensed games don't have the best reputation in the gaming industry (historically speaking) Funcom has proven they know what they're doing with Dune: Spice Wars. Spice Wars first launched into Early Access in April as a 4X strategy title set in, you guessed it, the Dune universe. The iconic planet of Arrakis, to be specific. In Spice Wars, players take control of one of Arrakis' four factions -- House Atreides, House Harkonnen, The Smugglers, and the Fremen -- in a vicious battle for supremacy.

If strategy games aren't your cup of tea, though, don't give up hope on the gaming side of the Dune franchise. Funcom announced an entirely new project at Gamescom yesterday: Dune: Awakening. Like Spice Wars, Awakening will take place on Arrakis, but unlike Spice Wars, the game will be an open-world survival MMO.

The project sounds ambitious, to say the least. The official steam page promises to offer a vast, seamless version of Arrakis shared by "thousands of players," though it doesn't specify whether those players will be split across multiple servers or not.

The Steam store page also hints at camp and "fortress" construction, some sort of stillsuit maintenance feature, sandworm attacks, and the ability to deploy your own harvester to gather Dune's spice. You'll battle it out with other players on foot, in vehicles, or take to the sky in Dune's iconic hummingbird-like ornithopters. Apparently, you can even make your own faction and unlock "powerful abilities" through the consumption of spice.

Like we said, Dune: Awakening sounds pretty ambitious -- and, if the average MMO launch is anything to go by, perhaps an impossible game to make on launch. It's not uncommon for epic-scale survival games, or MMOs in general, to release in a feature-light state and then improve over time. We aren't saying that will be the case here, but some skepticism is always warranted with games that make big promises pre-release.

Funcom hasn't announced a release date yet, or revealed any gameplay footage. So far, we just have a thematic trailer in which a stillsuit-equipped man (and fan of spice, judging by his eye color) leaps toward an emerging sandworm and a website with a couple pieces of concept art.

You can sign up for Dune: Awakening's beta on the Dune Games website, if you wish. Hopefully we'll all learn more about Awakening sometime next year, at the latest.

Permalink to story.

 

yRaz

Posts: 4,816   +6,012
There isn't anything interesting in the dune universe to make a game out of. Fantastic science fiction but nothing that would translate into a game very well
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,455   +1,363
I have high hopes and low expectations. Trailer was brilliant but as others have said, big deal, I want in game footage. Still this will be amazing if they don't eff it up.
 

azicat

Posts: 170   +219
At face value, as an MMO experience it would be highly dependent upon your faction (if sticking to source material is important). Might be fun as a Fremen as you can explore seitches etc, but as a Harkonnen you’d just be floating in circles around Arakeen getting bored.
 

dangh

Posts: 789   +1,338
While I'd love to see a good Dune game, it will be impossible, in the world where you need to create a game for everyone. The last movie was absolutely great, but not for everyone, means limited income.
Funcom have some solid experience (Conan and Secret World) in creating a good games, but those games were not for everyone as well, eventually leading to low user base and reducing updates and so on.
Game in Dune world, where you can focus on single planet, or on a whole universe as in Eve online, it could be great - but not in the current market.
 

Entrylevel

Posts: 24   +19
While I'd love to see a good Dune game, it will be impossible, in the world where you need to create a game for everyone. The last movie was absolutely great, but not for everyone, means limited income.
Funcom have some solid experience (Conan and Secret World) in creating a good games, but those games were not for everyone as well, eventually leading to low user base and reducing updates and so on.
Game in Dune world, where you can focus on single planet, or on a whole universe as in Eve online, it could be great - but not in the current market.
In Funcoms investor presentation a couple of years ago they acknowledged their intentions to focus on games with niche, rather than universal, appeal. So their expectations of player base and support are already (hopefully anyway!) set to realistic levels. Given that this sits in the same game genre as Conan:Exiles, I think they probably understand things like dev, maintenance and support costs well enough to manage the financial side. Hopefully they get the gameplay right to make it successful.