How a new Dune video game could succeed where others have failed


It’s been a long time coming but Warner Bros. and Legendary’s gigantic Dune adaptation finally hit cinemas and HBO Max this week, sparking a revival of interest in Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi franchise.

To mark the release of the latest adaptation of this sci-fi epic, we’re looking back at the history of Dune games in an effort to understand why the franchise hasn’t seen long-running success on gaming platforms, despite offering a rich and unique sci-fi world brimming with lore that should have developers rubbing their hands in glee, and how the Dune franchise could make a gaming comeback as grand as Frank Herbert’s books.

  • Dune is an absorbing and visually striking sci-fi epic – with one major problem

A troubled history worth remembering 

(Image credit: Virgin Games)

1992’s Dune, developed by Cryo Interactive and published by Virgin Games, was an ambitious mix of real-time strategy and interactive adventure, borrowing elements from hits such as The Secret of Monkey Island in order to flesh out both its characters and the dense world of Arrakis. Its development was as troubled as the production of David Lynch’s 1984 film, and the whole thing was almost canned several times.



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