Rebellion to open licensing for 2000 AD, including Dredd

2000 AD, home of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Flesh, is opening up its characters for licensing opportunities. Acknowledging that they can’t create games based on all of the characters and setting, 2000 AD owners Rebellion stated on Saturday that they hope to license out the properties, including Dredd and related characters. Rebellion are now best known for the Sniper Elite series but have owned 2000 AD since…well, 2000 AD. In that time there have only been two 2000 AD games*, 2003’s Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death and Rogue Trooper in 2006 (updated for Wii in 2009), but this move should open the floodgates. Or at least the faucets.

This seems like a very good thing to me. The announcement was made at the 40 Years Of Thrill Power Festival, which took place on my birthday even though I’m not a 2000 AD character. I do like 2000 AD a lot though and have since I first read Dredd as a kid, when a comic about satirical violence that was so distinctly British was just about the most exciting thing on my shelf. There are no details on how licensing agreements might work, but Bleeding Cool, who first reported this, say that Rebellion CEO and historical cosplayer extraordinaire Jason Kingsley is expecting “dozens rather than hundreds of inquiries but sees four to five games possibly developed from other publishers in the near future.”

Considering that I’m likely to send in dozens of inquiries by tomorrow morning (a Burger Wars tactical skirmish game, a management game based on Flesh and a Strontium Dog RPG for starters), he’s either misjudged the appeal of these licenses, or he’s only referring to serious inquiries from people who know how to make games.

With Games Workshop, White Wolf and now 2000 AD potentially working with top developers and/or exciting upcoming indies, this is an exciting time for nineties Adam. These are a few of my favourite things, and given how Marvel and DC have been hogging the pop culture limelight in recent years, I’d love it if Dredd did in games what Marvel have done on the telly and in cinemas. Stranger things have happened.

A decade ago, if you’d suggested that a big interconnected Marvel cinematic universe, with proper actors and massive budgets, would be one of the dominant forces in blockbusting cinema, people might have thought you were taking the piss. And if you’d gone on to say that 95% of new television shows were either comic book inspired or directly based on either Marvel or DC characters, they’d have started calling you Notstrodamus because of your terrible predictions. Well, who’s laughing now?

It’s you. You’re laughing, even though you’re quietly concerned that the first Iron Man is still the best of the bunch, and that the initial appeal of those street level Netflix heroes is going to be washed away in the push toward Big Team Up. You’ll still be laughing, through the tears, when Batman tears Lois Lane’s face off over on the DC channel. He’s cross because she wrote an article about the poisonous knock-on effect of vigilante culture. “FAKE NEWS”, he growled as he kicked the door in.

Later, when Lex Luthor resurrected her as a sentient viral internet program, Lane would adopt ‘Fake News’ as her nom de guerre.

* there was also a gamebook from Tin Man Games, but it has been removed from sale as the license has expired

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24 Comments

  1. Kollega says:

    I’m still one very sad gamer, because my teenage obsession was Evil Genius and not Judge Dredd :'(

  2. 3man says:

    One of the things that spoiled Mass Effect for me was the character of Shepherd – however you played him/her s/he came across as some humdrum Hollywood-blockbuster-saving-the-universe type chappie/ette.

    A game like that with Strontium Dog on the other hand… without the stupid save the universe storyline of course. Just someone going around cleaning up someone else’s mess.

  3. int says:

    I say: ABC Warriors XCom-styled game.

  4. aircool says:

    ABC Warriors and Rogue Trooper (not the reboot) please :)

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    Harlander says:

    C’mon, let’s have a Sinister Dexter open-world game.

    (I can’t believe I messed up the title the first time :/ )

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      Big Dunc says:

      I’d love to see a GTA: Downlode style of game featuring my two favourite gunsharks.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I’d love to see RockStar take Dredd and do an anti-GTA.
    I think they’re still British enough they get the whole Dredd satirical schtick, plus cruising Mega City on a Lawmaster looking for perps to send to the cubes for sugar and caffeine infractions would be awesome.

    Speaking of sugar, I still remember that Dredd storyline where someone was smuggling offworld “Sugar” that turned out to be alien eggs, resulting in horrible deaths for the consumers. Loved that as a kid.

    And while I’d love to see someone try ABC Warriors, I struggle to think of a suitable genre. Party-based RPG is probably the best fit, and has the best potential for delicious Deadlock betrayal (backed up by devious Blackblood and “BIG JOBS!” Mek-Quake, natch).

    Of course, that flows in to the whole Nemesis / Torquemada storyline too, and an alien warlock fighting against the Terran empire has a nice potential too.

    But can videogame art equal the dark, vivid images conjured by Simon Bisley and Kevin o’Neill? The latter of which has especially grown on me over the years. As a youngster, I found his artwork hard to interpret a lot of the time. But over the years his style has grown on me massively, to the extent that he’s probably the artist I associate most with my memories of 2000AD. And his was certainly the best portrayal of Nemesis and Torquemada.

    BE PURE. BE VIGILANT. BEHAVE!

    Damn, there is so much to mine here; Ace Trucking Co., Bad City Blue, Slaine, Skizz, Zenith, and dammit, Halo Jones. Gods, I love Halo Jones. Halo Jones was the main reason I was disappointed with the lame Hollywood science-lite in Interstellar.

    And then there’s so much potential with the Future Shocks. Some of the most inventive writing in comics took place in those small stories, mostly thanks to good old Alan Moore.

    I really hope this results in an explosion of content. I’ve had just about enough of the mostly overly-simplistic Marvel Universe.

    • Janichsan says:

      I said it before and say it again: the world needs a Judge Dredd open-world game.

      So, yes, I totally agree.

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        Mungrul says:

        And of course, there’s potential for a Witcher 3 style Slaine game. Oh my.

      • Normy says:

        Dredd himself isn’t a good starting place for an open world game – development and growth are pretty much antithetical to his character (at least in the short term). But Judge Nubb, Psi Judge Buttinski, and Tek Judge Flange taking their first patrols in Sector 13? Yuh huh.

    • RedViv says:

      Rockstar seem to have abandoned their roots and just adopted the South Park style of Everybody Is Stupid, so I would not count on them for Dredd. A totally missing the point adaptation of Big Dave though? Frightening.

    • thekelvingreen says:

      ABC Warriors should be done in the style of super Amiga scifi rpg Hired Guns, I reckon.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I would play a Halo Jones RPG so much. Unfortunately Microsoft would probably sue for copyright infringement or whatever.

  7. salattu says:

    I could not imagine playing as Dredd, but would love to play a bystander in MC1. Think This War of Mine, or Paper’s Please. Another interesting perspective would be that of a street thug in an MMO, with Judges the NPC police, patrolling the streets like security in EVE – only slightly more possibly to escape.

  8. Chorltonwheelie says:

    “this is an exciting time for nineties Adam”…
    If this bears fruit it’s rather exciting for 70’s Wheelie.
    Punk, Doc’s Red Army, 2000AD…’77 was some year.

    If ID could do ‘Flesh’, I’m thinking t-rex wandering around modern cities with the raging hump, that would be zarjaz.

  9. Seafoam says:

    Dredd Bejeweled yeeeeeaaahhh boyyyyy! Dredd tetris! Dredd flappy bird, baby! Woo!

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      Edski says:

      That’s… pretty much what I was about to write. Match 3 p2w Nemesis the warlock pls?!?

  10. Premium User Badge

    Edski says:

    A Judge Dredd game where he takes his helmet off in the first scene. *Shakes fist in general direction of Hollywood*

  11. Guy Montag says:

    Man, if someone made a spiritual sequel to that 7/10 gem Rogue Trooper, I would be so happy.

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      Mungrul says:

      Same here, although they pretty much captured the entire Nu Earth story in that one game, from the Quartz Zone Massacre to the assassination of the Traitor General.

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        Harlander says:

        The spiritual sequel could be about the V.Cs, allowing for space combat and stuff too.

  12. islipaway says:

    Sim Mega City.

  13. Hohumm4sh3d says:

    Cities : Skylines Mega City Funpack with free Tower Wars disaster at a touch of a button.