Exploring the Sands of Time: "Dune Awakening" Unleashes an Open World of Possibilities

But in the multiverse of games, a new horizon beckons us into the reality of yellow desert dunes – as untrodden as the Arrayan Territories, as vast as Arrakis, as mysterious as the sand beneath our feet. An open world MMO in the making, Dune Awakening marks the arrival of the most sprawling and idiosyncratic Dune adventure to date. Inspired by Frank Herbert’s epic saga and Denis Villeneuve’s visually stunning film, the latest trailer features the contemplative Paul Atreides – and promises that the desert planet of Arrakis will be as captivating as the world of games.


A Glimpse into What Could Have Been

It’s only when we start to loop inward toward the centre of the ‘Dune Awakening’ trailer that we see the shape of the story it tells in and around Arrakis. In an interesting twist, Paul Atreides tries to think himself into a reality in which he doesn’t exist – a reality in which House Atreides isn’t slaughtered by the Emperor and House Harkonnen.

A Spectacle of Survival

Arrakis is more than a setting, however. It is a part of the story, and its survival is the core of both the gameplay and the narrative. Each grain of sand, each stirring of the wind necessitates survival against the planet itself. From the embrace of the sandworms to the harsh climate, Dune Awakening promises to deliver a survival experience like none other, and in exquisite detail.


A Universe at Your Fingertips

As a direct adaptation of the books and drawing on the incredible visuals of Denis Villeneuve’s Academy Award-winning film, Dune Awakening puts players into the heart of the Dune universe in an open world survival MMO like no other. Arrakis doesn’t get bigger because you see more of it, it gets bigger because you can explore how it all fits together in an open, expansive, seamless world filled with threat, mystery and opportunity. Working with Legendary Entertainment, we’re committed to honouring the lore yet daring to forge new narrative possibilities too.

Survival, Social Interaction, and Strategy

By blending the survivalist complexity of top-down games with the emergent social dynamics of MMOs, Dune Awakening is defining what an open world game can be; a virtual journey from survival to rule-of-thumb, taking place on a shared Arrakis of infinite scale. Whether it’s exploring uncharted deserts in your raid buggy, or fighting to the death over a bloom, the stakes of your virtual evolution depend on the choices you make.


A Landscape Alive and Ever-changing

Change is the law upon Arrakis. Played anywhere in the world, at any time, players are encouraged to explore these unmapped (or essentially unmoddables) sectors, racing against the clock and against the wind-swept desert to bring back that proverbial ‘spice’ before the devastatingly destructive coriolis storms wipe the slate clean and saddle you with a whole new ‘sandworm’. Imagine the fact that two abutting campaigns could not possibly be the same – and that’s the dynamism Dune gameplay offers.

Mastery Over Land and Air

The thrill of the hunt and the thrill of combat are paramount to Awakening’s ‘Dune’ experience, be it over the dunes in the familiar vehicles, in the skies in ornithopters, or combat to protect your harvester from another faction. With a broad mass of gameplay that includes ground and air combat, Awakening not only tests players’ skills to survive, but also their political savvy as to which rulers they must earn the favour of and which they must negotiate with carefully, if at all.


An open world game presents a particular kind of freedom and immersion, but there’s no mistaking what ‘Dune Awakening’ is delivering: a sort of gateway drug that will eventually transport you into the most intimate reach of a treasured saga. This isn’t just a sandworm, this isn’t just Arrakis – this is your chance to experience life on Arrakis, to live among the Fremen, to navigate the complexities of their culture, politics and dangers. The freedom and immersion of an open world game promise something very different from traditional gameplay. It’s not just the promise of a fun experience, it’s the promise of a life.


By ‘open’, we’re referring to the game design philosophy of open world games, a class of free range gaming that often offers a vast, apparently unbounded map in which the player can explore as they choose, rather than having to follow a prescribed narrative path. Unlike linear gameplay, where the outcome of a game is predetermined, open world gameplay allows players a multitude of activities and quests with which they can interact – in other words, it’s designed to be more freely explorable, fully immersive and more personalised. A leading design philosophy in open worlding is to allow the player to explore an environment (involving a wide diversity of activities) as she chooses, and in so doing to make her own story out of the play experience. ‘Dune Awakening’ should be an open world not just in the sense of being an open universe, but in the intrinsically open-ended ways that the strategic unfolding of the game allows players to make their own destinies in the shifting sands of Arrakis.

Jun 08, 2024
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