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Dune: Spice Wars Announced, Enters Early Access in 2022

"Control the spice, control the universe."
"Control the spice, control the universe." / Image courtesy of Shiro Games, Funcom

Announced with a trailer during The Game Awards 2021 show Thursday, Dune: Spice Wars is an upcoming 4X RTS PC title in production from developer Shiro Games and publisher Funcom.

Dune: Spice Wars, based on Frank Herbert’s ever-popular Dune franchise, has reportedly been in development over the last two years at Shiro Games, and that's culminated in the announcement this past week.

Herbert's Dune franchise first debuted as an RTS game, both for the series and arguably the modern RTS genre as a whole, in 1992 with Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty.

That title was apparently only loosely connected to the plot of the Dune book series, and invited players to lead of one of three interplanetary houses — the Atreides, the Harkonnens, and the Ordos — to take control of the planet Arrakis and its valuable spice.

That premise seems to be returning with a vengeance as Dune: Spice Wars will reportedly look to allow players to once again take charge of the Dune series’ "most prominent factions" and vie for control of Arrakis and its spice by means of "warfare, spying, politics or economic hegemony," but with new combined elements of 4X (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate), RTS and grand strategy games as well.

Leading the charge for the upcoming Dune RTS this time around is French development studio Shiro Games, who is best known as the creator of the critically-acclaimed strategy game Northgard (2017).

According to a press release from Shiro Games, more information on Dune: Spice Wars is set to come over the coming months, including details on the upcoming title entering Early Access on Steam in 2022.