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16.02.17
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Between Mediums – 2000 AD

Rebellion, Publisher, Developer, Licensing, Owner

The Rebellion Logo


2000 AD – For the Rebellion…

With the news that Rebellion are willing to allow developers to use their 2000 AD licenses, the klaxon of opportunity is currently beaming brightly across the entertainment industry! It got me thinking about some interesting avenues/mediums that could be explored, using the 2000 AD license(s).

This is HUGE news.

2000 AD is akin to the Marvel or DC Comic universes with a blockbuster line-up, including (but not limited to) the likes of:

  • Judge Dredd
  • Strontium Dog
  • Nemesis the Warlock
  • Tharg the Mighty
  • Sláine
  • Robo-Hunter
  • Hammerstein
  • Harlem Heroes

The list goes on…

2000AD, comics, characters, licensing

Characters from the 2000 AD universe.

Many of these IP’s are from the original 2000AD line-up (circa. 1977), This critical period of time completely changed the landscape for comic book art (and their artists) internationally. The late 70s were arguably the pinnacle of British comics and a shining example of character creation in graphical art form.


Dredding Judgement? Fear not…

2000 AD, comic, licensing

2000 AD – “The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter”.

For any developers ready to brave the challenge of taking on the 2000 AD license(s), there are a set of organic storytelling techniques to respect. Speaking in Develop magazine, Dark Souls comic book writer George Mann explained (in his opinion) what makes a game/franchise so translatable to the comic/graphic novel medium

Dark Souls, Comic

Dark Souls comic #001

“Dark Souls has such a rich setting, and a really interesting mythology, so you’re off to a good start straight away. For me, though, it was the narrative technique that really enticed me – the fact the games don’t spoon-feed the gamer, but encourage you to explore, investigate and delve deeper into the lore, to learn the story organically. I really wanted to bring that across to the comics and use a similar narrative device” – George Mann (Dark Souls Writer).

George could be on to something here…

Dark Souls is a game designed to make you suffer. Over and over again, you’ll have to use all your wits to tackle such a steep learning process. The same can be applied when converting a well established comic book IP into a different medium, such as Video Gaming or creating a TV series.

Luckily, 2000 AD already has it’s essential ingredients to export:

  • Rich settings
  • Interesting Mythologies
  • Encouragement of exploration and investigation (not “spoon-feeding” readers)

Translating comic book icons into a videogame can prove immensely rewarding; with the likes of DC comicsBatman“, SEGA‘s “Sonic The Hedgehog” and Marvel‘s original “Star Wars” series, immediately springing to mind.

“It’s up to the reader to interpret what’s going on, and to work out the real story developing in the background” – George Mann

The gap between creative mediums (e.g. tv, film, game, comic book art) is diminishing, as advancements in cinematic technologies and techniques help to push the boundaries of what’s possible.


Between Mediums – The Halo Franchise

As far as covering all bases goes, 2000 AD could certainly take a leaf out of the Halo Franchise’s book.

Original creators Bungie forged a science fiction legacy when they laid the foundations for Halo, with “Halo: Combat Evolved” in November 15th 2001. What started as an ambitious shoot-em’ up, quickly snowballed into the catalyst behind one of the most popular franchises in modern gaming.

343 Industries are the current incumbents/guardians of the franchise.

Halo is unfathomable proof of the hybridisation between exceptional setting, mythology, exploration and investigation. The franchise is successful in using a full spectrum of visual/audio communication techniques and processes, that work across multiple platforms.

They manifest in the following forms:

Video Games

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved, storming the beach!

Cinematics

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 – Atriox (left) & Captain Cutter (right) – Cinematic trailer still

Films

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn 2012

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn 2012

Comics/Graphic Novels

Halo Escalation

Halo: Escalation, Spartan Melee with shielded Jackal


Final Thoughts…

As games become more harmoniously linked to films (as dramatically witnessed in Halo Wars 1 + 2) via in-game cinematics, perhaps now is the perfect opportunity for developers to capitalise on Rebellion’s offer.

From a fan perspective, not only is a “Judge Dredd” game long overdue, but 2000 AD assets like “Strontium Dog”, “Nemesis the Warlock” and “Sláine” are in dire need of creative upheaval to bring them into this digital, modern age.

Who knows? If Rebellion get the right developers contracted, with the right care and attention to detail, we could be in the presence of some brilliant new gaming IPs.

It truly is an exciting time to be involved in the industry from both a business and fan perspective.


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