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Dune: Awakening won’t let players be a messiah leading a holy war

Funcom is clarifying its stance on religious aspects
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Religion is a core aspect of Dune’s story and universe as originally written by Frank Herbert and since then envisioned by movie directors and video game developers alike. Funcom, the studio creating the upcoming survival MMO Dune: Awakening, recently revealed the first deeper look at its project, but didn’t really dive into this particular topic during the presentation – something fans of the source material quickly noticed and seemingly asked questions about.

Reacting to these questions, the developer clarified its position, stating: “We agree that religion is an integral part of the Dune universe. This is why in Dune: Awakening you will meet and interact with people of different religions along your journey.”

“However, as opposed to the story presented in the books, the player is not a messiah and will not play a major role in any of them,” the explanation continued. “Leading people on a holy war is not why you arrive on Arrakis.”

Dune: Awakening sandworm attack.

Who has time to pray anyway in between the spice harvesting and running away from worms.

While players can visit locations and meet factions they might be familiar with from the novels or the movies, they won’t travel on the same narrative path as Paul Atreides.

Like the developers stated, it’s not like the religious elements of Dune won’t be present at all in the game or that players will be forbidden from role-playing as followers of a specific faith – but the main story of the game won’t focus on this aspect. It sounds like the developers are fully prepared for player-driven conflicts on the desert planet to involve religious motives alongside economic ones.

“We want our game to be as close to the source material as possible, while giving room for our players to create their own path,” the social media account responded to one comment that had expressed worry about religion being completely left out of the game.

RPGs like to cast their players into the role of the “chosen one” to save the world and whatnot, but in MMOs that has always been a little bit silly – and Arrakis being overrun by thousands of messiahs could be ripped straight from a Monty Python sketch akin to The Life of Brian.