The twist for Dune: Awakening's narrative has been revealed. M. Night Shyamalan would be proud.

Dune awakening screenshot of Paul Atreides
(Image credit: Funcom)

What you need to know

  • The narrative for Dune: Awakening has been revealed. A world without Paul Atreides.
  • The timeline will be an alternate reality, what would happen if Paul had never been born? His father lives, his mother gave birth to a daughter instead, and many more plot narratives that pushes the House of Atreides to new heights.
  • Find out more related to the game this August at Gamescom 2024!

Update: We've now included the press release from Funcom at the bottom of the article. They also announced they've hit 1 million Wishlist's on Steam, a phenomenal accomplishment!

"I created the future until it created me... What if my mother had obeyed orders and given birth to a girl? Everything would have changed." That is the basis for Dune: Awakening. At least, that's what I was able to gather from the trailer!

Rise from survival to dominance on the most dangerous planet in the universe. Dune: Awakening combines the grit and creativity of sandbox survival games with the social interactivity of a large, persistent multiplayer game to create a unique and ambitious open-world survival MMO.

What sets Dune: Awakening apart is its unique narrative. It diverges from the main timeline found in the books and games, presenting a world where Paul Atreides' father is alive, but Paul himself was never born. The House of Atreides emerges victorious in the battle of Arrakeen, and the Fremen face extermination—a series of plot twists that unfold in a timeline that never actually happened.

One of the most exciting aspects of Dune: Awakening is the creative freedom Funcom has. They can craft a unique storyline within the rich lore of Dune without the constraints of existing plotlines from the 23 books in the franchise. This means we can look forward to both new and familiar stories, with the possibility of encountering characters who were previously deceased. Who knows, we might even get to fight alongside or against Leto Atreides!

Our Zachary Broddy had a glimpse of an earlier build of Dune: Awakening in action earlier this year. His positive impression has only fueled my excitement. I was a fan of Funcom's work on Conan Exiles, and I'm eagerly awaiting Dune: Awakening. The only thing that dampens my enthusiasm is the lack of a release date. I'm sure many of you feel the same. Let's hope they announce it soon!

Mark your calendars for the exciting reveal of more Dune: Awakening news at Gamescom in August. This event should be a treasure trove of information for all Dune enthusiasts. I expect to see far more detailed gameplay mechanics unveiled. Hopefully, there will be a playable build for journalists, too.

Coming to Xbox X|S, Windows PC, and PlayStation 5, players can wishlist today on Steam, and get ready to survive the wild wastelands of Dune with friends! I'm excited about it, how about you? Let us know below or on social media!

Here's the press release from Funcom detailing the news for Dune: Awakening:

While drawing visual inspiration from the award-winning cinematography created for Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece film series, Dune: Awakening will take place in an alternate timeline to that of the books and movies. Players will be met with a game that stays true to the beloved world of Dune while creating an opportunity to surprise players with a narrative that hinges on one key decision that reimagines the future of Arrakis.

In Dune: Awakening, Jessica Atreides never gave birth to Paul, instead choosing to obey the orders of the Bene Gesserit to have a daughter. She names her Ariste Atreides, who is a character players will meet in the game. This key decision causes a chain reaction that fundamentally changes the situation on Arrakis, leading ultimately to the survival of Duke Leto Atreides and a War of Assassins between the Harkonnens and the Atreides.

This is the Arrakis that players are dropped into in Dune: Awakening; one torn by war between two Great Houses, the Fremen missing after being hunted down, and at the center of it all: the spice that must flow.

Joel Bylos, Creative Director at Funcom, said, “It’s exciting and a bit of a relief to finally share the details of the alternative timeline in Dune: Awakening. It’s the pebble that starts a landslide, and it opens up a lot of really cool opportunities for players to explore when they arrive on Arrakis.”

Dune: Awakening is the upcoming Open World Survival MMO in which you can live your ultimate Dune fantasy. Craft, build, scavenge, and kill to rise from survival to domination of Arrakis. Explore and share the vast deserts with hundreds of other players, and learn to tell friend from foe.

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2.