See The New Dune Open-World MMO

We have a first look at the upcoming Dune MMO and we have high hopes for this addition to the legacy of Dune games.

By Jason Collins | Published

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dune mmo

The French-Canadian film director and writer made the cinematic adaptations of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels famous again, so much so that the franchise (and it’s a franchise at this point) is getting its own television adaptation, Dune Part 2 — which admittedly suffered a major setback — and now a new-open world MMO video game. This certainly isn’t the first Dune-themed game, but it’s the first one that entirely relies on massive-multiplayer gaming.

PlayStation’s official Twitter account just shared the trailer for the recently revealed Dune: Awakening, a Dune MMO survival game set in Frank Herbert’s most famous fictional universe. Admittedly, the reveal trailer doesn’t actually reveal that much since it’s not in-game footage, but a pretty nice cinematic feature of what appears to be Paul Atreides (or someone else) speaking the iconic “fear is the mind-killer” line before confronting a sandworm head on. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t share any other details past the supported platforms — PlayStation 5.

This paints a picture of Dune MMO being an exclusive, but upon checking the game’s website, where gamers can sign up for the beta, we quickly discovered that the game is already listed on Steam, signaling a PC release as well. This doesn’t make Sony’s trailer inaccurate; it’s just a pretty clever marketing trick that leads those who haven’t stumbled upon the original trailer to believe that the upcoming game is an exclusive. While this isn’t something to get upset over with the world’s largest console manufacturer, the company was recently sued for using an anti-competitive business model.

The upcoming Dune MMO will actually release on all major platforms, though nobody mentioned a Nintendo Switch release — which isn’t to say that there won’t be one. Dune MMO’s developer, Funcom, stated that the game would place thousands of players at once on a shared version of Arrakis, tasking them with building and developing their own shelters, bases, and factions. Of course, sandworms and other players will be there to stop spice harvesting efforts, while sandworms are said to be capable of changing entire sceneries of the planet’s surface.

However, some are unenthusiastic about the Dune MMO game. A good portion of the audience, while acknowledging that 2021’s Dune Part 1 was a success, a good portion of the audience still thinks that the franchise’s narrative is boring and that a successful film doesn’t mean that the audience will consume everything that the franchise has to offer. Those beliefs might be credible, considering that Funcom also released Dune: Spice Wars, a strategy game set in the Dune universe.

Unfortunately for Funcom, the aforementioned strategy game wasn’t exactly successful, and while it has a fantastic 9/10 rating on Steam, it never had more than 10,000 concurrent players. Not a fantastic metric, but not a negligible one either, which means that Funcom might’ve used the previous game to test the waters for the upcoming Dune MMO — admittedly, MMOs are now much more prominent than the strategy game genre anyway, so whether the previous metric was a good indicator of audience’s interest remains to be seen.

In the end, there are tons of video games based or loosely based on Frank Herbert’s Dune universe, including the iconic Warhammer 40k franchise (loosely based), which consists of tabletops, strategy games, and an exceptionally well-made third-person shooter, which is getting a sequel. And then there are nearly a dozen games entirely based on the Dune franchise, and the upcoming Dune MMO stands to join them once it releases. The official release date isn’t known, but the announced Dune MMO is set to release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.