Warner Bros Should Turn The Last Dune Books Into Games, Not Movies

The gaming medium is perfect to adapt the extraordinary story of the last Dune books.

Story Highlights

  • WB should make games based on the other Dune books as the films are only covering the first two.
  • The unusual plot is no different than other sci-fi/fantasy titles and fits the medium perfectly.
  • Games based on books (Witcher 3) have been very successful.

Denis Villeneuve’s movie adaptations of the Dune books have resulted in the IP’s resurgence in pop culture. So far, Dune: Part Two has grossed over $700 million, making it a financial success. Besides the recent Hollywood success, an open-word MMO based on the books titled Dune: Awakening is also in the pipeline and will be released at an unannounced date.

The upcoming Dune: Awakening
Dune: Awakening Will Be An Open-World RPG | Source: Funcom

The Gaming Medium Suits The Last Dune Books More Than Film

The later Dune books feature concepts not easily translated to the big screen like a worm God that rules for many thousand years and Denis Villeneuve doesn’t want to adapt them for this very reason. Therefore, in my opinion, the best strategy forward is turning the tail-end of the Dune series into video games instead of movies.

The Story Of The Last Dune Books

Even for the world of Dune, the last few books get too abnormal. The third book, Children of Dune, is still less unusual compared to what follows but features outlandish plot points. Alia Atreides, the sister of film protagonist Paul, rules the universe on behalf of his children.

However, she gets possessed by the memory of the deceased Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, making the ruler take her own life. Leto II, Paul’s son, fakes his own death and sees a golden path to humanity’s survival after getting high in the desert. The boy gives up his humanity and becomes partworm while Paul is killed by his own preachers in Arrakis, making Leto the new emperor of the universe.

YouTube video

Believe it or not, things get even more strange in book 4, God Emperor of Dune. Worm-lord Leto II has ruled the universe with an iron fist for thousands of years, committing countless atrocities and oppressing humanity so the species wants freedom. A Duncan Idaho clone eventually kills him and Siona Atreides, which was his master plan, and his body regenerates the spice and sandworms on Arrakis.

The last two Dune books written by Frank Herbert are similarly bizarre, featuring a clan of women called Honoured Matres who use their sexual prowess to control the universe and the obliteration of Arrakis. Hence, it’s not hard to see why these books wouldn’t translate so well to the big screen and the general audience.

Dune Fits Right Into The Gaming Medium

The story of a genocidal worm emperor and a guy who gets cloned in every entry won’t be too out of place in the gaming medium. Such tropes are very familiar to players and killing a worm/man hybrid in the final level will be no less unusual than an annoying Elden Ring boss. Games like Doom, Mass Effect, Nier: Automata, Warhammer, Half-Life and many more have already explored many of the themes featured in Dune.

Furthermore, the franchise’s timeline gets a time jump of several thousand years after the third book, meaning gamers don’t even need to watch the movies to understand the story.

The Dune franchise has a huge fanbase thanks to the books and several movies, with the original novel selling over 20 million copies. As a result, a story-driven title will also be a major draw for the millions who love the IP in addition to players who want to go on a mind-blowing sci-fi adventure. 

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 Proves That Whacky Fantasy Books Can Work In Gaming| Source: GamesRadar

In addition, A 2-hour movie is not enough to cover all the Dune lore Frank Herbert has detailed. However, a video game would be the perfect medium for the IP’s fans to intimately experience the world of Dune.

Moreover, gaming is no stranger to directly adapting fantasy and sci-fi books with unorthodox premises. The Witcher series, the Metro franchise, and Shadow of Mordor are just some examples of sci-fi/fantasy books getting the video game treatment and succeeding. As you probably know, The Witcher 3 is considered one of the best games of all time and has sold a whopping 50 million copies worldwide.

The Metro series has also become a staple of sci-fi horror, with its latest installment, Metro Exodus, shipping over 10 million units. On the other hand, Shadow of Mordor is a successful open-world RPG based on another famous fantasy novel from the 20th century: Lord of the Rings. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that a story-based Dune title will be a critical and commercial success if made with care.


After Denis Villeneuve makes his third Dune film, Warner Bros. should bring the series to the gaming world. Video games are the best way to adapt the highly unusual plot points and story of the last Dune books. And, considering how titles like The Witcher 3 and Hogwarts Legacy, which are also based on books, have been highly successful, there is no telling the heights a Dune video game can reach.

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Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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