Dire Wolf, the co-maker of deckbuilding card game Clank!, has revealed that it’s currently working on Dune: Imperium - the first original board game based on the sci-fi universe in over 40 years.
The deckbuilding game was announced via a teaser trailer (thanks, Reddit user u/cahpahkah) and appears to be based on the upcoming Dune film. A remake of David Lynch’s 1984 movie, the new version of Dune is being helmed by Denis Villeneuve, who previously directed Blade Runner 2049, and is set to be released on December 18th.
The trailer for Dune: Imperium displays several lines of text asking whether the players have what it takes to claim “the entire power of the universe”, before displaying the game’s name and the logos for Dire Wolf and Legendary Pictures - the studio behind this year’s film.
Dune was originally a series of sci-fi novels written by Frank Herbert and published during the 1960s. The subtitle of Imperium may refer to the various empires that have ruled over intergalactic space in the universe. The very first Imperium consisted of The Old Empire, which existed before the period in which the novels are set and declined due to corruption from within. Eventually, a new Imperium was created called The Galactic Padishah Empire, formed of several ruling houses with a single throne.
As well as being made into a deckbuilding game, the world of Dune has previously been adapted into a board game originally released back in 1979. After decades out of print due to licensing issues, the Dune board game was eventually re-released in 2019 by publisher Gale Force Nine. Designed by the creators of the highly influential Cosmic Encounter, the Dune board game is often cited as one of the best games ever made.
Dune is also being made into a tabletop roleplaying game by Modiphius, the publisher of Dishonored: The Roleplaying Game and Star Trek Adventures. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium is yet to have a confirmed release date.
Besides Clank!,, Dire Wolf is known for co-creating its expansions and spin-offs such as Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, as well as a number of digital board game adaptations, including Raiders of the North Sea, Sagrada and the upcoming video game version of Root.
Dune: Imperium is yet to have a release date confirmed, with Dire Wolf simply saying the game is “coming soon”.