Dune: Spice Wars - Release date, gameplay & early access - Dexerto

Dune: Spice Wars – Release date, gameplay & early access

Published: 17/Jan/2022 12:22 Updated: 17/Jan/2022 12:24

by Nathan Warby


Among the many announcements at The Game Awards 2021 was Dune: Spice Wars, a brand new game set in the beloved Dune universe. Here’s everything we know about it so far, from the release date to the style of gameplay.

Following the success of the critically acclaimed movie, interest in the Dune universe has never been higher. Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya starred in the sci-fi epic based on Frank Herbert’s classic series of novels, exposing a new generation to the classic franchise.

If you left the theatre itching for more Dune, then it looks like you’re in luck. As part of the many new announcements at The Game Awards 2021 was Dune: Spice Wars, a new real-time strategy game.


But how does it play? And when can you get your hands on it? We’ve broken it all down for you right here.


Dune: Spice Wars reveal trailer

Dune: Spice Wars platforms

The new game will be coming exclusively to PC at launch. Although once the game is in player’s hands, developer Shiro Games are going to begin exploring the possibility of a console version with optimized controls.

Dune: Spice Wars release date & early access

In the initial announcement, there was no official word on when the game would receive its full release. Don’t worry, though, it was given an early access window of 2022 on Steam. Sadly, a more specific date isn’t currently available.


Developers Shiro Games estimate that Spice Wars will remain in early access for around 9-12 months, pointing to a full release by the end of 2023. On the game’s Steam page, devs left notes explaining to excited players why they chose to go for an early access model.

“Early Access provides us an avenue to collaborate with players and fans with two goals: ensuring accessibility while staying true to the essence of Frank Herbert’s work and making a unique game where the very interesting features of the Dune universe are translated into a compelling gameplay experience.”

“We expect Dune: Spice Wars to change and grow significantly over the course of the Early Access and are fully committed to working closely with our players to push the game to the highest standard.”


Dune: Spice World gameplay
Shiro Games
Arrakis is a harsh planet with devastating sandstorms.

Dune: Spice Wars gameplay

In the same vein as previously games set in the Dune universe, Spice Wars is a 4X real-time strategy game. For those uninitiated, 4x refers to the four key aspects of these kinds of games; explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.

Players will take control of one of Dune’s factions (four at launch) and battle to control the planet Arrakis. In Dune lore, Arrakis is home to the most important resource in the universe – Spice.

Both House Atreides, led by Duke Leto, and the Harkonnen, led by the brutal Baron Harkonnen, have been confirmed as playable factions so far. Each has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses, and more are set to be added throughout early access.


Baron Harkonnen in Dune: Spice World
Shiro Games
Players will be able to negotiate with series staples like Baron Harkonnen.

The aim of the game is to best your opponents by deploying a number of tactics. You can use political negotiations to get the upper hand, send in spies to keep track of enemy progress, or simply crush them in combat.

As is the case with all RTS titles, there will also be elements of managing resources to build units and make advancements.

During its stint as an early access title, Dune: Spice Wars will receive a number of new features. At the time of writing, the major ones confirmed by devs are a full campaign, a multiplayer mode, and a brand new playable faction after the early launch.


Dune: Spice Wars desert map
Shiro Games
Dune: Spice Wars’ maps recreate the sandy terrain of Arrakis

Dune: Spice Wars maps

Each map featured in Dune: Spice Wars will be procedurally generated, with player’s having the freedom to change features like size, wind strength, and how aggressive the series’ trademark sandworms will be.

Sections of deep sand will work as blocks, much like water in similar strategy games, and players will have to develop technology to help navigate them. Alternatively, ships can be built to effortlessly fly over inhospitable land.

We don’t have any further details about the maps in Dune: Spice Wars as of yet, but the developers have confirmed that they will “feature unique places that readers of the book will recognize.”

There you have it, that’s everything we know so far about Dune: Spice Wars. We’ll be updating this page will any new tidbits of information, so be sure to check back here for the latest news.

For updates on other upcoming titles, check out some of our other pages:

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