Fantastic news for all fans of Dredd, as no doubt it’ll form the spirit of, if successful, the TV series 2000AD and rights holder Rebellion is trying to garner support for. Given the time of year, this time it can’t be an April’s Fools! Never know how much good it does, but please sign the petition and hopefully it’ll come for fruition.
Not doing a Stallone
My inaugural piece for squareblind covered my love for Franklyn and how it would make a cracking video game. If 2000AD/Rebellion needs to petition on-demand internet streaming media services to get this made for television, finance is the issue. Executive producer Adi Shankar has made this very clear for a sequel to the 2012 film. With this in mind, my next statement might be a push, but I think any new version of Dredd might be better and more profitable as a videogame.
There have already been games set in Mega-City One. Dredd vs Death was a solid effort back in 2003 from Rebellion in its typical role as a video game developer. The studio also published a well-received arcade shooter mobile title more recently. Other Judge Dredd games weren’t so good, either tied to the Stallone film or operating on basic PCs back in the pre-SNES days of gaming. What has never been done is the Judge Dredd as an episodic title.
There is a queue of properties knocking on the door of Telltale Games and the studio is tied up with the largest IP’s in the world: Walking Dead; Minecraft, Game of Thrones; and the biggest of all DC Comics and Marvel. Rebellion, 2000AD and other partnered licensees have neither the budget nor the clout to rouse Telltale Games, and in truth the studio’s style may not suit Dredd-the-movie adventures in Mega-City One. But Telltale et al’s episodic releases would reduce initial investment and risk and potentially long term revenues.
Rather than using or aping the slow-paced, narrative titan; better to learn from Capcom’s foray into episodic gaming; 2015’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Dredd’s ‘success’ as a film, is much like Equilibrium, which establishes an interesting world as a playground for the movie’s action, without slowing down for an navel gazing, immature analysis of socio-politics, best left to 16 year olds and internet idiots. The best videogames emulate this, with story unfolding around the player, and putting the user in the middle of the action, in the way that only interactive media can.
I envisage an episodic Judge Dredd to be a third person shooter, each release two levels and a ‘boss fight’. To keep the action grounded in Mega City One, The Pit would provide an excellent framework for an episodic story with the action taking place fighting the Frendz Mob across Sector 301, whilst dealing with the inept judges of the district. To keep investment low; use of-the-shelf assets for the majority and the Unity Engine, the latter allowing cheaper production of multi-platform releases. Leave out the Lawmaster as a gameplay feature to reduce any initial investment, and to ensure you don’t do a Ride to Hell.
Not owning a game studio, at best this is food for thought. With IP owners now considering internet streaming media services as a viable franchisee, I hope videogames will be showed this respect in the future. The stories of 2000AD are mature and intelligent, and video games can be as well. Judge Dredd readers do play video games and sit in a profitable demographic so, Rebellion what do you think? You are the Law (!), as copyright holder and a game studio.
Featured image is official wallpaper released on the 2000AD website.
All images used without permission, please contact squareblind (at) email (dot) com if you are the copyright holder and wish this to be removed.